Villavicencio is the capital city of the Colombian state of Meta. The best thing about Villavicencio is, besides its great ambience and its people, Vanguardia airport, well known for its numerous prop liners. Once you arrive on Vanguardia airport, the great atmosphere comes to you: Lots of DC-3s, Antonovs and many small props can be seen on the ramps. If you are coming from Europe or North America to see the aircraft, you will generally be welcomed by the airport authorities, which are used to it the hobby already. It is recommended to have some kind of reference letter in Spanish from an aviation organization to request ramp tours and other privileges. If you can send a letter to the local authorities before your trip it will be even more appreciated. Of course, Colombian spotters are very happy to help you prepare your trip.
Vanguardia airport is not a large airport. The ramps as well as all hangars are situated to the west side of the single 04/22 runway.
The city is located four hours by car from Bogotá, Colombia’s capital. If you opt to take a flight, it will take about thirty minutes. One of the possibilities is to make a day trip from Bogotá to visit Vanguardia airport; the flights from Bogotá leave early in the morning and departs from Villavicencio in the late afternoon. Usually flights are scheduled to depart from Bogotá at 7:00 am and leave Villavicencio between 3:00 and 5:00 pm. The advantage of a multiple day trip is that you can catch a flight in a DC-3 to wherever you want in the jungle. Make sure to ask where to go because there are some places with guerrilla activity where you do not want to go….
Around the Airport
If you have a letter in Spanish with you or sent in advance, go to the airport manager, talk with the right person and you will easily get a ramp tour. If you don’t have a letter, try to talk with the airport manager and, if you are lucky, he will let you go on a little ramp tour. Once there just have fun watching a lot of DC-3s, DC-4s, Antonovs, Beavers and a single Catalina parked there as well as lot of small props and abandoned aircraft. If you are not allowed on the ramp, try to get permission to spot aircraft from the terminal offices. Talk to the airport manager or with the manager of the control tower and ask for permission to take some pictures from the window offices leading directly to the ramp. These places are under spot 1just because this is where the main offices are to request ramp and office tours. Another good option is to talk directly with the airlines, go to the hangars and ask for permission to take some pictures.
If none of the options under spot 1 work, you can go try a different option. From the main road, try the three or so dirt roads on your right when driving alongside the runway. These will lead to the hangars and where you can ask for permission to enter the premises and take some pictures or just try to read off some serials.
For the even more adventurous, the road to La Bodega leads under the northern approach. Although many trees obstruct your views, you might want to try to take some landing shots from the road. Be sure to have your letter with you to explain your hobby to authorities travelling by car….
Another very interesting spot can be found by driving or walking counterclockwise from the terminal around the airfield. This spot provides excellent views of aircraft landing on runway 04 as it is really close to the runway threshold.
The control tower is a very good alternative if you are not allowed a ramp tour (Javier F. Topper).
Dakotas and delicious food are the main features of spot 2 (Javier F. Topper).
|Aerolíneas del Este||DC-3|
|Aerolíneas de la Paz||DC-3|
|Aerupia - Aerotaxi||BN2, PA-34|
|Air Colombia||DC-3, DC-6|
|Aliansa – Aerolíneas Andes||DC-3|
|Arall - Aerolíneas Llaneres||DHC-2|
|Selva – Servicios Aéreos del Vaupes||An-26, An-32|
|TAR – Transportadora Aérea Regional||Ce208, Ce441|
|Transporte Aéreo Regular Sec. Oriental||Do28|
|Apiay - Capitán Luis Fernando Gómez Niño   subscribers only|
|Barranquilla - Ernesto Cortissoz   subscribers only|
|Bogotá - El Dorado International|
|Cali - Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Intl   subscribers only|
|Cali - Marco Fidel Suárez   subscribers only|
|Cartagena - Rafael Núñez   subscribers only|
|Guaymaral - Flaminio S. Camacho (Chía)|
|Leticia - Alfredo Vásquez Cobo   subscribers only|
|Madrid - Mayor Justino Mariño   subscribers only|
|Medellín - Olaya Herrera   subscribers only|
|Rionegro - José María Córdova   subscribers only|
|San José del Guaviare - Jorge E. González Torres   subscribers only|
|Santa Marta - Base Antinarcóticos   subscribers only|
|Santa Marta - Simón Bolívar|
|Villavicencio - Vanguardia|