New Quito International Airport Opens

The new Mariscal Sucre International airport in Quito, Ecuador, has officially opened following an inauguration by President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa. The last flight from the old airport departed at 19.07 on 19 February. Project stakeholders concluded a highly complex overnight transfer of operations to the new airport, 15km to the east of the city in just 14 hours. The new airport opened its doors and received its first aircraft at 09:07 local time on 20 February.

With two UN sustainability awards, and a brace of airport finance and structuring honours; the new airport boasts a 4.1km runway, the longest in South America. Providing direct connectivity to Quito’s major export and tourism markets, the new airport will transform the export roses and provide travel connections to stunning tourist destinations such as Quito, Cotopaxi, and the Galapagos.

Mott MacDonald has acted as lenders’ advisor1 on the project since 2002, providing a full range of technical, commercial services and critical risk management services.

David Beare, Mott MacDonald’s principal transaction advisor, said: "This is a significant project that will leave a lasting legacy for the Ecuadorian people. The project team has overcome a number of significant risks through collaborative working in order to get the job done."

"The Municipality of Quito, the Quiport2 consortium, and the contractor have delivered a world-class airport facility that has significantly improved performance and customer service whilst addressing the municipality’s primary concerns of safety and security issues associated with the old and constrained location in the centre of town."

In partnership between the municipality and the airport's international investors, this project has provided training for 7,000 Ecuadorians and delivered over $1bn of economic benefit to the local Ecuadorian economy in construction alone. It will continue to provide increased employment and inject over $200m annually into Greater Quito economy as the new facilities grow. A new water pipeline built in association with the airport now provides a reliable water supply for over 120,000 people in the communities close to the airport. These are examples of key corporate social responsibility objectives of the Canadian Government3 that underwrote the construction contract in terms of cost, quality and timely delivery.

1. The lenders for the project are OPIC, IDB, EDC and USExim.

2. Quiport shareholders comprise Aecon, CCR, ADC and HASDC.

3. Canadian Government Agency, Canadian Commercial Corporation, “CCC”

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