A small, outdated airport in the middle of downtown Quito posed safety hazards and was not accessible to large aircraft, which limited travel, tourism and overall economic development in Ecuador. Many private lenders were unwilling to finance such a major project.
Solution and Impact
$200 million in long-term financing helped developer HAS Development Corporation and its partners attract additional lenders into the deal so that there was sufficient financing to move the project forward.
The new Mariscal Sucre International Airport opened in in 2013, replacing what had been considered an obsolete and relatively dangerous airport with one of Latin America’s most modern. The new airport has the longest commercial runway in South America and has prioritized sustainable practices and support for local community businesses, including women-owned businesses. The airport supports local entrepreneurs through its Nuestra Huerta, or Our Orchard program, which helps fledgling businesses acquire the resources and skills needed to expand and serve more customers. The support has helped onetime subsistence farmers expand reach more customers and acquire more skills.
In the years since the airport opened, the longer runway has led to larger planes arriving and departing. At least five new passenger airlines have begun serving Quito, supporting a growing tourism industry. In addition, several new cargo airlines have started serving the city, offering Ecuador the opportunity to expand its export markets around the world.