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797
Topic Author
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CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:14 am

Hey guys,

I just came back from MIA, and what an experience!. CCS airport might divert all its flight starting tomorrow due to problems the bridge that connects Caracas with La Guaira (city where CCS is) has been having.

This bridge is located in the middle of the highway connecting the two cities. This highway goes between several mountains and it hasn't been touched for 50 years. Now, it's about to collapse.

Today morning, the authorities decided to close the bridge because of a fracture, therefore, all passengers going and coming from CCS are in 'big trouble'. I was one of them. Thankfully, my flight arrived at 11.50AM and at that time, the airport was pretty calm, but now, all flights from Europe (AF, IB, AZ, S3, LH) and flights from the US (AA, S3, VH) arrive and is the 'rush' hour at the airport. This is a major problem because the alternate way to Caracas is in bad shape and cannot handle that load of cars... The brifge is supposed to be closed until mid february (NOT OFFICIAL, though)

From what I've heard, airlines staff have held a meeting today to discuss this problem. In the airport the top rumors were: 1) diverting all flights starting tomorrow to Valencia, or 2) keep bringing the flights to CCS but estabilish an air bridge between CCS and La Carlota (small airport inside Caracas) using small planes.

Situation 1) I don't think this is possible. Valencia cannot handle that huge load of aircraft and passengers. They don't even have jetbridges and services to provide AF's 744, for example! and anyways, after they receive all those international flights, how do they expect all the people to get to Caracas?

Situation 2) That's CRAZY! La Carlota was closed almost a year ago...Now they're planning to bring it back!? Either way, how can they put 400 pax from the AF flight (example) into a thousand jets!? Sounds nuts to me!

I think we are dealing with a BIG problem here. It took me about three hours to get from the airport to my house. Normally, it takes about 45min/1hr to do so.

I think they should organize several buses to make the Maiquetia-Caracas route every time flights arrive. This way, they won't deal with all traffic trying to get to the airport, and all pax would get to a central point within the city, safely. Thankfully, the authorities are doing things the right way. They've custodied the alternate way with patrolls and members of the "Guardia Nacional" to provide safety. The bad thing about this alterante is that lacks of lightning systems, and at night, It's way too dark to drive...it also has a lot of fog since it's in the heights of the mountains...

Well guys, comments and options are appreciated!

Cheers!

[Edited 2006-01-05 22:21:18]
Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
 
hrhf1
Posts: 96
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:39 am

How can you put that many pax on busses? Where would the busses come from? If the secondary road is impassable at night then the airport is all but useless. I can see a 1/2 full Aeropostal flight being put on a bus, but a full AF 744, no way.

Having traveled from CCS to Caracas and back, I know where you speak of, and wonder if they can't divert the 4 lanes down to 2 and use at least 1 side of the existing bridge.

What is the closest inland airport that can handle a decent load of pax? If CCS is forced out of business for awhile, then I suppose the airlines flying to it will have to adjust their aircraft accordingly to land at the alternate. The pax will have to adjust their attitudes as well and accept their fate.
 
797
Topic Author
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:41 am

I just found some of the articles I was stating up there. I found them in both Spanish and English!
Spanish

Spanish: Airport Closure

English: Airport Closure

English: Highway Situation

By the way, Aserca has moved their Hub operations to Valencia and Aeropostal has created an Ari-Bridge CCS-VALENCIA.

Spanish: Aserca News:

Spanish: Aeropostal News:

Cheers.
Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
 
lamedianaranja
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Skyteam Ranked Best Alliance

Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:47 am

It really is a pity that this problem is being addressed only now. How is it possible that there is only one highway between an international airport and its 6 million inhabitants city?!?! And it's been 'the highway from hell' forever. Tunnels collapsing, asphalt leaking oil, pieces of highway disappearing down the hill and so on.

I'm not just being negative, it's the sad truth...

What about long-term vision / investments with petrodollars and make a tunnel under the mountain straight from the coast into the city? Straight from Maiquetía into Altamira!

I understand that now you need a short term solution, which does not exist. The alternative route is a curvy mountain path through shantytowns so not really an option. The old highway by the coast via Colonia Tovar/Los Teques takes forever so no option either.

It will have to be Valencia if the road actually closes, like in December 1999 when the mudslides closed CCS. But if they're able to handle AF's 747, I'm not sure either. What's the alternate for that flight then? CUR?
I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
 
797
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:48 am

Quoting Hrhf1 (Reply 1):
How can you put that many pax on busses?
...a full AF 744, no way.

Exactly.. There you see my point. And remember, it's not only AF...I'd say it's about 3500 passengers arriving at Rush Hour... It would be insane.

Quoting Hrhf1 (Reply 1):
wonder if they can't divert the 4 lanes down to 2 and use at least 1 side of the existing bridge.

No, they cannot. They had to close all of the bridge because it might collapse anytime. For everyone, that way is not viable. It's dead by now. The only decent way is the alternate, which could only handle many buses but going in one direction.

Quoting Hrhf1 (Reply 1):
What is the closest inland airport that can handle a decent load of pax?

Hmm, I'd say Valencia, but as I said before, it doesn't have what is needed to attend all these international carriers...at all!

Perhaps Barcelona could work for all the nationals, and VLN for the Intl... I don´t know!

What a mess...
Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
 
2travel2know
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:56 am

Is that private airport in Caracas (always forget the name) able to handle international or domestic flights at all?
VLN could be an alternative but I don't think BLA would be a good one, maybe good airport but too far (4 hours or so from Caracas?).
Doesn't Maracay have an airport?

[Edited 2006-01-05 23:22:37]
I don't work for COPA Airlines!
 
lamedianaranja
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:58 am

AF461 departing CCS today (January 5) shows a delay of 3 hours (21.10 instead of 1800) on the AF website because of meteorological conditions. Is the weather so bad or is the delay really to give the passengers more time to reach the airport, you think?
I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
 
atnight
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:01 am

Well, the change of airports might not be too bad for me, as I'm pto go to Venezuela on march, Barquisimeto to be exact, and if I land in Valencia it would mean a shorter flight onto Barquisimeto, no? I mean, if CCS is closed, will they have flights from Valencia to Barquisimeto? If not, I'll just take the bus....
One good thing that could happen if they close the airport, is to actually do some work and refurbish the terminals and improve the facilities.... One thing about the CCS that I hate (don't know if is still the same), is that the international terminal is far from the other domestic terminal, so you have to walk outside to go from the international to the domestic... would be great to see that change somehow...
B707 B727 B733/5/7/8/9 B742/4 B752/3 B763/4 B772 A310 A318/319/320 A332 A343 MD80 DC9/10 CRJ200 ERJ145 ERJ-170 Be1900 Da
 
2travel2know
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:29 am

I would think Venezuela best airports after CCS are PMV and MAR.
But those 2 are not viable options to ease the problems caused by the closure of that bridge on the La Guaira - Caracas motorway.
PMV (like CUR/AUA/BON) are islands, international flights bound for CCS could land there but then all passengers should be flown into La Carlota Airport (closed?) or Caracas General Aviation Private Airport.
MAR is too far from Caracas, but could be good as a temporary regional hub and for those in VLN, Barquisimeto and western Venezuela.
I don't work for COPA Airlines!
 
atnight
Posts: 537
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:41 am

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 8):
MAR is too far from Caracas, but could be good as a temporary regional hub and for those in VLN, Barquisimeto and western Venezuela.

I disagree with you, MAR is way too far to those in central Venezuela, especially for those going to VLN or Barquisimeto... VLN is under 3 hours away from CCS, but 9+ from MAR.... Barquismeto pax could potentially go to MAR, but that is still around 6 or more hours... As far as I can see, there really isn't a good alternative other than VLN, which will have to be the airport to replace CCS for the time being....

BTW, are they officially closing down CCS or this is just a rumor?
B707 B727 B733/5/7/8/9 B742/4 B752/3 B763/4 B772 A310 A318/319/320 A332 A343 MD80 DC9/10 CRJ200 ERJ145 ERJ-170 Be1900 Da
 
B757200
Posts: 184
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:53 am

Quoting Lamedianaranja (Reply 3):
What about long-term vision / investments with petrodollars and make a tunnel under the mountain straight from the coast into the city? Straight from Maiquet�a into Altamira!

That's an idea that has been around for many decades. Some say that a previous government (I'm not sure which one) talked with an international company to build that tunnel. The negotiation was never finished because that company said they would take anything they would find inside the Avila when digging into the mountain. Maybe it's just another urban myth, who knows.

Quoting Atnight (Reply 7):
One thing about the CCS that I hate (don't know if is still the same), is that the international terminal is far from the other domestic terminal, so you have to walk outside to go from the international to the domestic... would be great to see that change somehow...

You still have to walk outside. Airport authorities are planning to build a tunnel connecting both terminals (don't know if they already started), but I guess we'll have to wait several months for it to be completed.


Regarding the use of an alternate airport, my candidates would be VLN or Base A�rea El Libertador. I think those are the closest ones that can handle large aircraft. And when I say handle I mean with runways long enough to accomodate widebodies. I don't see BRM or BLA as alternates because of the "long" trip, specially if we're talking about buses.

Anyway, the fact that they widebodies can actually land at VLN, for instance, doesn't mean the airport is able to deal with that amount of passengers. Let's see what ALAV and the authorities come up with.
 
2travel2know
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:06 am

Quoting B757200 (Reply 10):
my candidates would be VLN or Base A�rea El Libertador. I think those are the closest ones that can handle large aircraft

It'll be a bit ackward to see U.S. aircraft in Base Aérea Libertador if that airfield is going to be used as CCS alternate.
Does the base have a passenger terminal?

[Edited 2006-01-06 03:07:38]
I don't work for COPA Airlines!
 
luisde8cd
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:22 pm

Hey guys, Im currently in MEX waiting for my flight MX 375 to leave to CCS.

I'm getting myself physcologically ready for this nightmare when I get to CCS. I'll arrive in day 2 of the chaos, I'll let you know how I get my ass up to CCS and I hope to shed some light to the questions in this thread.

So far my plan is to take a taxi ride to CCS via the Carretera Vieja (Old road) which goes thruogh the mountains as Enrique previously said. I'm lucky to arrive at sunrise, so my road trip to CCS will be during daylight.

Saludos desde Ciudad de Mexico,
Luis
 
Checo77
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:26 pm

I have been several times in CCS and the bridge was really awfull. I remember in 1995 that they talked about reparing it since at that time is was pretty worn out. How come they made no action until now???
Venezuela is a paradise, so hope that it will resolve soon.
Best wishes to CCS.
Adam
Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
 
hiflyer
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:42 pm

That ol downtown airport...closed I now but is it dug up? Looked at it with Google Earth...Dash8 and other stol types could get in...146's as well. Parking for aircraft seems ok...taxiways a little narrow but doable. biggest problem is handling the road traffic onto that congested space...airside may work but landside looks like a negative. Bigger question is who would pay for the flights from downtown to the main airport? That alone would make it a nonstarter probably.
 
RCS763AV
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:00 pm

Quoting Lamedianaranja (Reply 3):
It really is a pity that this problem is being addressed only now. How is it possible that there is only one highway between an international airport and its 6 million inhabitants city

Typical of our countries, dont fix it until it falls in pieces or explodes. But i disagree with you in one thing, Caracas has 4 million not 6 million inhabitants.  Wink

I have checked Avianca´s website and the 4 BOG-CCS flights for tomorrow are shown as on-time.
 
luisde8cd
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:22 pm

Quoting Hiflyer (Reply 14):
Looked at it with Google Earth...Dash8 and other stol types could get in...146's as well.

B737s, DC9s, F100s, A320/319/318, 727s can all make it from that airport. The problem is the space to park them.

Quoting RCS763AV (Reply 15):

Typical of our countries, dont fix it until it falls in pieces or explodes. But i disagree with you in one thing, Caracas has 4 million not 6 million inhabitants.

The Greater Caracas area has a population that barely surpasses the 5 million mark. That's what I've recently read and heard...

Saludos desde Mexico,
Luis
 
masseybrown
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 4:00 pm

Is La Carlota that military base east of center city?

There must be some way to blame this on the international oil companies.  Wink
 
Chiguire
Posts: 1848
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:07 pm

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 17):
Is La Carlota that military base east of center city?

Yes, it used to be a public airport but was limited to military/government operations some time ago.


But really I doubt that they would open this airport.
And don`t forget, whenever airlines speak about "Aeropuerto Caracas" they mean this one:



Aeropuerto Caracas

Avior is handling some flights from there. But this airport is about 1 1/2 hours south of Caracas. In this case I would say even Valencia is a better solution, bearing in mind that "Oscar Machado Zuloaga" has very small terminal facilities and a quite short runway of only 2000 meters.

Aeropostal is currently operating an airbridge to VLN free of charge for their passengers, but will start charging for it by today afternoon the regular fares.
Those flights can then also be booked and used by all other passengers arriving in CCS.
 
LX23
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:04 pm

Quoting Lamedianaranja (Reply 3):
What about long-term vision / investments with petrodollars and make a tunnel under the mountain straight from the coast into the city? Straight from Maiquetía into Altamira!



Quoting Checo77 (Reply 13):
have been several times in CCS and the bridge was really awfull. I remember in 1995 that they talked about reparing it since at that time is was pretty worn out. How come they made no action until now???

Actually, the problem (which has been around since the early 90's) with this bridge is that the bridge is anchored at both ends, and the land has been moving for the past decade and a half. In 2000, they had already done some interim repairs on it (after the heavy rains and mudslides), while they were working on alternate routes. The Ministry for Infrastructure had also been carrying out more works for the past couple of months to gradually "move" the bridge back into place (they had actually managed to move it some 21cms) before heavy rains and landslides opened up another 3 cms. However, the government had already said that this would most likely be a stopgap measure while the alternate routes were constructed. In the meantime, the old route has been under renovation (still not finished), a second viaduct is due to be completed in 2007 (meanwhile, they're working on an alternate route to bypass this bridge, which should be ready in February), a second route from the Higuerote side (a long ways to go!), as well as a tunnel that should go under the Avila and out the other side to Macuto (about 2 kms down the coastline from the airport), but this project is not due for completion until 2009 (you weren't far off the mark there Medianaranja!)

Quoting Lamedianaranja (Reply 3):
It will have to be Valencia if the road actually closes, like in December 1999 when the mudslides closed CCS. But if they're able to handle AF's 747, I'm not sure either. What's the alternate for that flight then? CUR?

At the beginning of 2000, KL started operating the AMS-CCS-AUA-CCS-AMS flight as AMS-CCS-AUA-AMS due to the repairs being undertaken at CCS. Perhaps AUA would be a better option than CUR for AF (maybe even use the A320 they have based in FDF and fly into Valencia or even SVFM?). Even then, I'd like to see what AF comes up with... I'm sure it will be interesting.
 
Chiguire
Posts: 1848
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:13 pm

Quoting LX23 (Reply 19):
as well as a tunnel that should go under the Avila and out the other side to Macuto (about 2 kms down the coastline from the airport), but this project is not due for completion until 2009 (you weren't far off the mark there Medianaranja!)

This is a project anf IF they would start with the contruction NOW, it would MAYBE be ready in 2009. So it has not even started.....
 
797
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sat Jan 07, 2006 1:01 am

Oh guys, what a mess!

Quoting B757200 (Reply 10):
Quoting Lamedianaranja (Reply 3):
What about long-term vision / investments with petrodollars and make a tunnel under the mountain straight from the coast into the city? Straight from Maiquet�a into Altamira!
That's an idea that has been around for many decades. Some say that a previous government (I'm not sure which one)

Well, that's quite old here, however it was being planned in Perez Jimenez's government. Right now it would take at least a couple of years to get it done, so it would not be an option.

Quoting B757200 (Reply 10):
VLN or Base A�rea El Libertador

You are right. Last night on the news they said that Aeropostal and Aserca are going to flight from these two airports to CCS estabilishing an AirBridge. They announced that they will not set a price for these flights.

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 12):
So far my plan is to take a taxi ride to CCS via the Carretera Vieja (Old road) which goes thruogh the mountains as Enrique previously said. I'm lucky to arrive at sunrise, so my road trip to CCS will be during daylight.

Luis, WATCH IT!
Taxi drivers are asking something like Bs. 200.000 to take you up there! If you can have someone to pick you up it would be better. If no, just take a good looking cab because you might be in it for 4 hours. I did it in 2h.30min but my uncle arrived in AF later and took him 3h.30min... Good luck!

Quoting Hiflyer (Reply 14):
who would pay for the flights from downtown to the main airport?

As I said before, airlines are going to do it with no furhter pricing. I mean, if you are booked on a MAR-CCS flight, you will have included the ticket from CCS to VLN or El Libertador as an Air Bridge situation.

Quoting Chiguire (Reply 18):
But this airport is about 1 1/2 hours south of Caracas. In this case I would say even Valencia is a better solution, bearing in mind that "Oscar Machado Zuloaga" has very small terminal facilities and a quite short runway of only 2000 meters.

I've been and flown several times to this airport and I'm pretty sure it can handle VH's and R7's DC-9s. Parking can be cleared form privates and let to the commercial airlines. I think it's a great option ONLY if flights are done as a connection WITHOUT check-in. Check-In should be done at CCS, otherwise the Aeropuerto Caracas could collapse.

--------------

In other news, today I saw on the news that the MINFRA (Ministerio de Infraestructura) stated that the bridge will be closed for a long time...undefined.(Article Here) That's not good at all. They should go for a decision right away.

Not focusinga anymore in the flights and airport matters, the state Vargas might be badly affected after this situation. One of the reasons is the tourism and the otherone is jobs. The authorities have taken the decision of diverting al shipmentes to the Puerto Cabello port, leaving out many jobs at La Guaira's port. This might affect in long term the state.

Quoting Checo77 (Reply 13):
How come they made no action until now???

We Venezuelans are characterized to do things 'last hour' style  Wink

Quoting Atnight (Reply 7):
One good thing that could happen if they close the airport, is to actually do some work and refurbish the terminals and improve the facilities

Well, they've refurbished the international terminal, if you haven't seen it... Also they're building a very nice hotel in front of the intl. terminal. Here a picture I took myself of the arrival area.

MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Enrique Perrella



I'll be coming back for more news in a while. Meanwhile I'm trying to solve my parents problem: they get here monday night with my grandma, sister and little brother at 8pm. At that time, cars are not allowed to get to Caracas. I'm trying to find a private or something like that. Any suggestions?

Saludos!
Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
 
Checo77
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sat Jan 07, 2006 1:16 am

But what will happen then with the intercontinetal flight?? AF, AZ, TP, LH, etc. How will they do? And people with connection? For example, if I fly SJO-CCS-CDG-PRG, how will I do my connection in CCS??
Pretty of a situation down there.
Regards,
Adam
Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
 
797
Topic Author
Posts: 1436
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sat Jan 07, 2006 3:27 am

Quoting Checo77 (Reply 22):
For example, if I fly SJO-CCS-CDG-PRG, how will I do my connection in CCS??

Well Adam, I'm not 100% sure, but I know AF will keep flying normally, even though their flight was delayed yesterday 3 hrs. I think there will not be major problems...So far, from what I've heard, national airlines are doing Air Bridge flights between CCS and VLN for people who LIVE in CCS...I conclude that people doing connections are problem-less...the airline MUST take care of you in any case.

Anyhow, you should call Air France wherever you are...you should call Air France Caracas just to make sure you will be taken-care of. Also, you should call the airline you are using to fly to CCS. Try to have everything set in case of a change. Who knows, its a big uncertainty.

Feel free to contact me in case you need help from CCS!

Cheers!
Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
 
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jsnww81
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sat Jan 07, 2006 3:35 am

Wow - it's hard to imagine trying to get to Maiquetia without using the La Guaira highway. When I visited back in June the road was in extremely bad shape, although it was nighttime when I crossed the big bridge so I couldn't see how it looked.

Those roads over Avila are in terrible shape as well. I can't believe people are using them to get to the airport - it must take hours!
 
lamedianaranja
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sat Jan 07, 2006 3:36 am

In Venezuela's main newspaper El Universal today the government also warned of the bridge between CCS and VLN (puente de La Cabrera) being in a bad state and this maybe adding to the problems soon...

The son of a good friend of us is due to come back from CCS to AMS from school Christmas leave soon. I've just send an email asking how they're going to solve the problem, no answer yet.
I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
 
2travel2know
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sat Jan 07, 2006 5:42 am

Quoting Lamedianaranja (Reply 25):
In Venezuela's main newspaper El Universal today the government also warned of the bridge between CCS and VLN (puente de La Cabrera) being in a bad state and this maybe adding to the problems soon...

If something happens on that bridge on the road between VLN and CCS, then Venezuela will be in serious problems.
Since this topic started for some reason I've been thinking BLA would be better than VLN. Any bad bridge on the BLA-CCS road?
I don't work for COPA Airlines!
 
797
Topic Author
Posts: 1436
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sat Jan 07, 2006 5:43 am

Here are some pictures of the bridge:











In other news, the press has announced that all passengers about to fly from or to CCS must talk to the airline just in case some changes have taken place...here's the link: http://caracas.eluniversal.com/2006/01/06/eco_art_06201A.shtml

This is not going good!

Cheers!
Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
 
LX23
Posts: 337
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sat Jan 07, 2006 8:52 am

Quoting Checo77 (Reply 22):
For example, if I fly SJO-CCS-CDG-PRG, how will I do my connection in CCS??

Adam: you probably have a couple of options. The first is that you get to CCS on LR631, and you still take AF461. Otherwise, you can be rerouted on SJO-MIA-CDG (LR690+AF91) or even SJO-MEX-CDG (LR630 + AF435). Other options would be CO or DL via EWR/IAH/ATL, so maybe call them and ask.
 
luisde8cd
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sat Jan 07, 2006 2:19 pm

Ok guys I've finally made it home here in Caracas. It took me 3 hours to get to my home. We used the Carretera Vieja. That road collapses because there are simply too many cars and buses using it.

If the price is affordable, next time I rather pay a ticket CCS-VLN and have my relatives pick me up from Valencia. It takes me 2 hours from my home to VLN and also I don't have to sit in traffic in a mountain road for almost 3hrs.

Saludos desde Caracas,
Luis
 
Tornado82
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 10:19 am

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sat Jan 07, 2006 2:40 pm

Quoting 797 (Reply 27):
Here are some pictures of the bridge:

My God that looks scary.
 
stirling
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sat Jan 07, 2006 2:47 pm

How old is this bridge?
Delete this User
 
797
Topic Author
Posts: 1436
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RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:42 am

Quoting Stirling (Reply 31):
How old is this bridge?

Something about 53 years old and this is the first time they're taking care of it!

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 29):
If the price is affordable, next time I rather pay a ticket CCS-VLN and have my relatives pick me up from Valencia. It takes me 2 hours from my home to VLN and also I don't have to sit in traffic in a mountain road for almost 3hrs.

Agree wit you Luis, that was a very bad trip through that road. Next time I'll think it twice. Now I don't know what to do with my parents arriving this monday at 8pm!

Cheers
Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
 
TGV
Posts: 722
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 1:37 pm

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:03 am

Quoting 797 (Reply 32):
Something about 53 years old and this is the first time they're taking care of it!

The problem does not come from the bridge itself which should have lasted far longer, but from movements of the surrounding mountains, leading to the displacement of one bridgehead.
Hence the distance between the two bridgeheads has been reduced and the deck forced to curve upwards, as well seen in the third picture displayed by 797. This also explains the movement of the bridge pier shown in the last picture, as the top of the pier was pushed by the deck movement, while the bottom was not moving.

It seems this problem has been identified 18 years ago, that a contract to build a new bridge in a more stable location has been awarded some years ago, and then cancelled.
And finally we arrive to this situation.

A textbook example of government incompetence and short time planning (and not only the actual government, if we consider the time since the problem identification).
I will never fly again 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y
 
Tornado82
Posts: 4662
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 10:19 am

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:22 am

Quoting TGV (Reply 33):

The problem does not come from the bridge itself which should have lasted far longer, but from movements of the surrounding mountains, leading to the displacement of one bridgehead.

This problem isn't specific to CCS, Venezuela, or anything. It can happen anywhere that you have topography and slippery slopes. An overpass over I-70 just collapsed in Pennsylvania (United States) in an area known for landslides... though the reason for that specific collapse ended up being something else. And numerous other places in the US have had similar episodes... it just usually we're a bit more proactive to correct them here... though not always, as stranger things have happened. Mountains aren't stable, they like to move all over the place, slowly but surely. Thankfully for everyone there, the CCS-area officials did close this bridge before it completely buckled and collapsed, because it would have taken alot more time to build a new one than to repair this one.
 
luisde8cd
Posts: 2444
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:02 am

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:34 pm

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 34):
Thankfully for everyone there, the CCS-area officials did close this bridge before it completely buckled and collapsed, because it would have taken alot more time to build a new one than to repair this one.

The sad truth is that the bridge structure has several fractures on it. That means that it cannot be repaired, thus a new parallel bridge will be built. Current estimates say that the new bridge will be ready in the first half of 2007. Until then, we won't have a highway to CCS.

Saludos desde Caracas,
Luis
 
Tornado82
Posts: 4662
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 10:19 am

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sun Jan 08, 2006 3:00 pm

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 35):

The sad truth is that the bridge structure has several fractures on it. That means that it cannot be repaired, thus a new parallel bridge will be built. Current estimates say that the new bridge will be ready in the first half of 2007. Until then, we won't have a highway to CCS.

Oh hell, I rescind my last comments then.
 
Summa767
Posts: 1848
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 1:30 am

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:51 pm

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 35):
Current estimates say that the new bridge will be ready in the first half of 2007. Until then, we won't have a highway to CCS.

It will be really inconvenient if the only alternative until then will be the old road, that for what I undestand makes the trip from city to airport very long.

Is there any chance that a temporary structure could be put in place, perhaps using what's left of the curent viaduct, reinforced with metal structures? Even if it's for pedestrian use only and trolleys for luggage with a bus service at either end?
In Colombia there are often landslides and when roads are damaged, temporary metal structures are put in place. Though I understand that the viaduct situation is much more complicated given its length.

BTW, I notice that for yesterday and the next few days AV has rescheduled its last flight from BOG, from 9.20 pm to 0130, so that it arrives in CCS at 4.30. I can only imagine that it is to do with avoiding the long road to the airport (for crew/passengers) too late at night, and rather arriving early morning. Similarly, the return flight has been moved from 7 am to 8 am. Presumibly to allow more time to get to the airport.

If this problem persists, I see AV going back to the 3 a day service between CCS and BOG and rethinking the timetable altogether. Traffic is bound to suffer.
 
Chiguire
Posts: 1848
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:11 pm

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:15 pm

Quoting Summa767 (Reply 37):
Traffic is bound to suffer.

Yes, definitely.
According to today's El Universal newspaper, airlines have cancelled 30-40% of their flights due to the fact that people either rescheduled or cancelled their trips. Aeropostal and Aserca are operating shuttle flights to VLN depending on the demand.
I really fear that this situation will make the survival of smaller airlines e.g. Laser very, very difficult. Even the bigger airlines are going to loose a lot of money.....

I sometimes ask myself why there is no heli-service offered to the city - at least for Business- and Firstclass passengers. This would really be a nice alternative and I can imagine that it would not be too expensive

Quoting sum (Reply 37):
BTW, I notice that for yesterday and the next few days AVOW has rescheduled its last flight from BOG, from 9.20 pm to 0130, SO that it arrives in CICS at 4.30. I can only imagine that it is to do with avoiding the long road to the airport (for crew/passengers) too late at night, and rather arriving early morning. Similarly, the return flight has been moved from 7 am to 8 am. Presumably to allow more time to get to the airport.

As soon as I remember this change was already done before the bridge problem, so this must have another reason (shortage of aircraft due to maintenance ?).
 
Summa767
Posts: 1848
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 1:30 am

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:29 pm

Quoting Chiguire (Reply 38):
As soon as I remember this change was already done before the bridge problem, so this must have another reason (shortage of aircraft due to maintenance ?).

The change has only applied since last night, but has been put into place for the next few days. I really doubt that it is to do with a/c shortage. It does not explain the delay in the return. You see, flights are scheduled to arrive in CCS at 4.45 am, but does not fly back until 8.00 am (intead of the usual 7 am).

I just read the article in El Universal, to which you refer. I think that within it there is confirmation from a civil aviation chief about the reason airlines are having to alter the timetables:

"Insistió en que las aerolíneas reacomodan los horarios de sus vuelos, ya que "la restricción del uso en las vías alternas impacta en el arribo de aviones en horas nocturnas", las cuales están reservadas al transporte pesado (camiones y gandolas de alto tonelaje)"

For nos spanish speakers, the alternative roads to the airport are for exclusive use of high tonnage vehicles at night, and therefore users of the airport must travel outside those hours. I assume that the exclusion applies from 10/11 pm to 5 am.

The helicopter link is a good idea, and I am sure will be in place soon.

[Edited 2006-01-08 12:41:43]
 
LX23
Posts: 337
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:54 pm

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:43 pm

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 34):
Thankfully for everyone there, the CCS-area officials did close this bridge before it completely buckled and collapsed, because it would have taken alot more time to build a new one than to repair this one

They only fully closed it once it was apparent that it would collapse (likely killing everyone on it). They had been regulating traffic there for a while now during the nights while trying to repair the bridge (actually move it back to its original position). Fortunately, no one has been killed by the bridge's collapse.

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 35):
The sad truth is that the bridge structure has several fractures on it. That means that it cannot be repaired, thus a new parallel bridge will be built. Current estimates say that the new bridge will be ready in the first half of 2007. Until then, we won't have a highway to CCS

An alternate route around the bridge (on the right) is due for completion in February, so at most this situation will last another 8 weeks or so. This will slow traffic down a little, but it means that the motorway will be open sooner rather than later.

Quoting Summa767 (Reply 37):
Is there any chance that a temporary structure could be put in place, perhaps using what's left of the curent viaduct, reinforced with metal structures? Even if it's for pedestrian use only and trolleys for luggage with a bus service at either end?

As I mentioned, the short-term/temporary solution will be ready in February, and it will bypass the current bridge. This will be open to normal traffic. A replacement bridge (longterm solution) is what will be ready in 2007.
 
2travel2know
Posts: 2236
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:05 am

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:22 am

Quoting Chiguire (Reply 38):
I sometimes ask myself why there is no heli-service offered to the city - at least for Business- and Firstclass passengers. This would really be a nice alternative and I can imagine that it would not be too expensive

When it rains someone is about to sell umbrellas!
That is a good idea with the helicopter service between CCS and the city, wonder why hasn't happened.
I don't work for COPA Airlines!
 
luisde8cd
Posts: 2444
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:02 am

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:23 am

Quoting LX23 (Reply 40):
An alternate route around the bridge (on the right) is due for completion in February, so at most this situation will last another 8 weeks or so. This will slow traffic down a little, but it means that the motorway will be open sooner rather than later.

The recent rains that triggered the collapse of the bridge also "washed away" the "alternate road" that goes down and up the valley.

So that February date that you say is definetely delayed, who knows until when. If before the rains the road was due for completion in February that's actually April/May. Now if they say May it will be July/August in the best scenario.

Saludos desde Caracas,
Luis
 
LX23
Posts: 337
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:54 pm

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:21 am

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 42):
The recent rains that triggered the collapse of the bridge also "washed away" the "alternate road" that goes down and up the valley.

Well, all the major newspapers report that this road will be ready (El Universal, for example, states that it is 60% complete). I think I'll beieve them rather than you (no offense intended, but if it really were washed away as you said, they'd be screaming it in their headlines instead of saying it's almost complete  Wink ... You're someone in Caracas that has probably not been down to the bridge in the past week...they're news agencies that have people standing there all day snapping pictures)

http://www.eluniversal.com/2006/01/08/viadu_ava_08A652181.shtml for those of you who can read spanish.
 
luisde8cd
Posts: 2444
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:02 am

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:44 am

Quoting LX23 (Reply 43):
(El Universal, for example, states that it is 60% complete).

They are quoting what the Infrastructure ministry said. Exactly the same ministry that said that both Los Teques Metro and Charallave-Caracas Rail Link would be working by Q1 2006. By the way that ministry also said that they expected that the repairs they were doing on the bridge were going to extend its life until the completion of the new bridge. I take with a grain of salt anything they say.

Quoting LX23 (Reply 43):
but if it really were washed away as you said, they'd be screaming it in their headlines instead of saying it's almost complete

This is a quote from the article you mentioned:
"Explic� que la v�a alterna al viaducto tambi�n sufri� algunos tropiezos a prop�sito de las intensas lluvias ca�das recientemente en el estado Vargas, las cuales aceleraron el movimiento de la ladera y, con ello, los da�os al terreno y al Viaducto 1."

When the country is under complete caos the govt. says everything is normal. Now they are admitting that the rain damaged the alternate road, so imagine who bad it is.

Quoting LX23 (Reply 43):
You're someone in Caracas that has probably not been down to the bridge in the past week...

Yes actually I've. Can't you read?

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 29):
Ok guys I've finally made it home here in Caracas. It took me 3 hours to get to my home. We used the Carretera Vieja. That road collapses because there are simply too many cars and buses using it.

During my trip on the Old Road, I managed to see the bridge and the alternate road. The alternate road looked in very bad shape compared to how I saw it when I drove down to CCS back in mid December.

So I suggest you stop making infounded accusations if you cannot read what I post. Also might be a good idea to stop believing in "pajaritos preñados" because you might get disappointed. Silly

Despite all the problems I really expect that the alternate road is ready in February because it is a pain in the ass to get from CCS to Caracas, but again, I don't believe it will be ready in February. Time will tell...

Saludos desde Caracas,
Luis

[Edited 2006-01-08 19:47:05]
 
RICARIZA
Posts: 2029
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:56 am

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:08 am

A friend sent me this today:  Wink

I miss ACES, I am proud of AVIANCA & I am loyal to AMERICAN
 
luisde8cd
Posts: 2444
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:02 am

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Tue Jan 10, 2006 11:21 am

Quoting RICARIZA (Reply 45):
A friend sent me this today:

Excellent picture Big grin Had such a long laugh, thanks for sharing Ricardo!

Saludos desde Caracas,
Luis
 
Chiguire
Posts: 1848
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:11 pm

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:30 pm

This is really funny !  bigthumbsup 
Where is it from ?

Another question - maybe someone knows:
What is with the "Teleferico" route that goes down from the Avila to el Litoral ? This would be a cool solution. The only city in the world where you travel by cablecar from the airport to the city......
 
lamedianaranja
Posts: 1195
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 1:21 am

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:21 pm

Quoting Chiguire (Reply 47):
What is with the "Teleferico" route that goes down from the Avila to el Litoral ?

It is mentioned as an alternative route but by car only. Jeeps and other rustic cars may go thru El Galipan over the mountain that way.
I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
 
mia
Posts: 888
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 1:40 am

RE: CCS Under Huge Problems.

Tue Jan 10, 2006 11:02 pm

Lets remember that it is not Chavez's fault that the bridge was never maintained before he got to power.

That 'advertisement' is typical of an immature polity that has nothing better to do.

MINFRA has impressed me over the last year of the many projects they are carrying out; Trol de Merida, Metro de Valencia, Trol de Barquisimeto, IAFE Railroad Charallave-Moron, linea Sur Metro de Caracas.

I knew this was coming when they said they had been working on the bridge for three months with the 'tensado' of the cables.

I read on RNV that they are building an alternate highway route that should be ready by March.

I dont understand why they dont do a puente aereo from Charallave to CCS. It makes more sense than that godforsaken VLN.

Chiguire - the cable car would be cool but I dont know how long it will take them to open the litoral-avila route.
"Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen."

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