Mariscal Sucre International Airport, the busiest airport in Ecuador, is undergoing a $90m expansion and improvement programme to optimise operation and enhance the passenger experience.

Construction for the expansion and improvement programme began in 2017 and is scheduled for completion in 2020.

Out of the total estimated $90m project cost, $60m is being spent on expansion and the remaining $30m for improvements.

In 2017, the airport handled approximately five million passengers. The annual passenger traffic is expected to reach 5.5 million by 2020 and 7.5 million by 2030.

Mariscal Sucre International Airport is owned and operated by privately owned capital firm, Corporacion Quiport under a 35-year concession agreement, which will last until 2040.

Mariscal Sucre international airport background

The new Mariscal Sucre International Airport is situated 20.5km away from the city of Quito. It was built with an estimated investment of $750m. The airport began operations in February 2013 and is currently one of the busiest airports in South America.

In October 2013, the airport underwent the Phase 2a expansion, which included the addition of 5,260m² area, two new passenger boarding bridges, and improvements for cargo operations.

In October 2014, the airport won Silver Award at the P3 (Public-Private Partnership) Awards for Best Operational Project. It also received the Leading Airport in South America award for the third consecutive year at World Travel Awards ceremony in 2016.

Mariscal Sucre’s latest 35-year master plan was approved in October 2015, which calls for further expansion of the airport, including the addition of a second runway.

Mariscal Sucre Airport expansion project details

Expansion and improvement work for the airport is being carried out in nine separate work fronts comprising four expansion projects and five improvement projects.

The cargo platform has been extended with the construction of one additional aircraft parking spot, improving the import and export handling capacity of the airport. The apron parking area for the ground service equipment was also expanded in early 2018.

“Passenger capacity in the arrivals hall will be increased with the reconfiguration of the area, which will include a sixth baggage belt to optimise luggage handling times.”

Passenger terminal space will be expanded by 18% over the existing 52,430m² area and the processing area will be improved by 21%, which will include the installation of six additional self check-in kiosks.

The $60m expansion project also involves enhancement of the immigration area by 34% and customs area by 13%. The departures area will be expanded by 3,200ft² featuring an additional boarding gate and bridge, which will result in a 19% increase in boarding lounge capacity.

The commercial platform will be expanded with an addition of 11,215m² and aircraft parking spot.

Mariscal Sucre Airport improvement project details

The $30m improvement programme includes five projects, out of which three were delivered in 2017.

Completed improvement projects include expansion and remodelling of the international VIP lounge, development of a concourse area to facilitate connections of in-transit passengers, and the sidewalk development, landscaping and the beautification of the airport with green areas.

The remaining two improvement projects are scheduled for completion in 2020.

New furnishing and floors will be added to reconfigure and modernise the departures hall. The information counter will be moved to the centre and few shops will be relocated in the hall to create more space.

Passenger capacity in the arrivals hall will be increased with the reconfiguration of the area, which will include a sixth baggage belt to optimise luggage handling times.

Contractors involved

The international VIP lounge of the airport was designed by InStudio and decorated by AHDI Estudio de Diseño.