Korea Airports Corporation (KAC) has obtained the long-term operational right for Manta Airport in Ecuador for a period of 30 years.

This comes after the Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno officially sanctioned an executive order delegating Manta Airport’s operational right to KAC.

In May 2019, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea Lee Nak-yon formally submitted the Manta Airport operation project proposal during his visit to Ecuador.

A contract between the KAC and the Ecuadorian Government is slated to be signed at the end of next month.

The $481m (KRW540bn) contract will provide the Korean firm with the full ownership of the airport and the incorporation for the following 30 years (2021-2050).

The scope of works will include operating and managing the airport facilities, including runway, passenger terminal, and apron.

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Notably, Manta Airport is set to be the first foreign airport to be operated by KAC. Currently, the firm operates around 15 airports.

KAC CEO Chang-wan Son said: “This project is significant as Korea successfully paved the way into the global market for overseas airport operation, predominated by other leading airport operators.

“We will make continued efforts to enter into new global markets by promoting our expertise in airport operation and outstanding smart airport technologies to contribute to G2G cooperation and economic development.”

KAC has been involved in overseas businesses, such as aviation professional training programme in Paraguay, drone navigation consulting in Latin America and airport operation consulting for six Columbian airports since 2010.

In 2019, KAC secured a construction deal for Peru’s Chinchero new Airport.