New Quito Airport

Quito is the capital of Ecuador and is currently served by the Mariscal Sucre International airport covering an area of 150ha. The airport is totally surrounded by urban development in the middle of the city and cannot possibly expand to accommodate the growing air traffic in Ecuador, which is increasing due to tourism. Ecuador receives over one million tourists every year and tourism is increasing by 2%-3% a year.

In November 2002 Mariscal Sucre Airport was taken over by a joint venture called Corporacion Quiport SA (Quiport) (this consists of Aecon, Andrade Gutierrez Concessoes of Brazil, the Airport Development Corporation of Toronto and HAS Development Corporation of Texas). Aecon is the lead developer of the new airport.

"New Quito Airport is being built on a 1,500ha site (ten times larger than the existing airport), about 18km from the centre of town."

Quiport was awarded the concession for the airport by the City of Quito to design, build and operate a new airport to replace the old one. It also operates the old airport until construction works finish on the New Quito Airport and the airport starts operations in February 2013.

The airport will be operated by Quiport under a concession lasting until 2040 (giving them the right to collect 80% of the revenue offshore). The current airport handled traffic of 4.7 million passengers, 78,000 aircraft movements and over 140,000t of cargo in 2010.


The total cost of the new airport is expected to reach $700m and this is being financed through debt raised from the project lenders. Aecon has a 45.5% economic interest in the airport concession and Andrade Gutierrez Constructores hold a 48% share. The financial closure and start of construction works of the new project occurred in early 2006.

The major lenders to the project are Corporacion Aeropuerto y Zona Franca del Distrito Metropolitano de Quito (CORPAQ), Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Export-Import Bank of the USA and the Inter American Development Bank and Canada’s Export Development Corporation (EDC).

New Quito Airport construction

The existing airport is limited in quite a few areas such as the small passenger terminal, the length of the runway, car park, aircraft servicing and cargo facilities.

"New Quito Airport will be opened sometime in 2013."

Two-third of the project was constructed by 2009. Due to the financial disputes among investors, government and lenders, the construction was delayed by 18 months. The construction resumed in March 2010 and is expected to be completed February 2013.

New Quito Airport facilities

The new airport is being built on a 1,500ha site (ten times larger than the existing airport) about 18km from the centre of Quito.

The terminal building will have a floor space of 38,900m² on four levels; there will be six jetways and 12 remote gates. The air traffic control tower will be 41m tall, with the building occupying a site of 901m².

The initial cargo capacity will be 250,000t a year (eventually increasing to 440,000t). The cargo and support area will have 10,000m² of storage space and 2,200m² for offices, refrigerated storage and access (bonded) areas and also a 5,000m² hangar for maintenance activity. The airport will also incorporate a 60ha free-trade business zone to encourage commerce (increasing to 220ha by 2030).

The new airport will feature the latest passenger and baggage handling solutions comprising of the HI-SCAN EdtS automated X-ray screening equipment supplied by Smiths Detection.


The positioning of the new airport on the Caraburo Plateau will increase the taxi journey to about 50 minutes to the centre of the city but will have the advantage of only being at an elevation of 2,400m above sea level instead of 2,808m at the current airport so that passengers won’t find altitude sickness such a problem.

"The terminal building will have a floor space of 38,900m² on four levels; there will be six jetways and 12 remote gates."

The new airport will have a single 4,100m runway. Initially the airport on opening in 2013 will be able to accommodate 5 million passengers a year (76,715 operations a year) but this will increase by phased development to 5.5 million by 2020 and 7.5 million by 2030.

Quito City has made a good start at supporting the new airport with the construction of a new 4.2km road and a water pipeline to the area where the new terminal building will be situated (this infrastructure project has required the purchase of land from 24 farms).

Contractors involved

The new airport was designed by Marshall Macklin and Monaghan of Canada. Avatar Consulting was also involved in the planning. Volecam and Equitransa are involved in providing the construction equipments for the new airport.

The environmental and social impact assessment for the new airport was carried out by WorleyParsons. The company is also the program manager (PM) for the transition planning and execution to move operations from the existing airport to the new airport.