Peru's AIH to start work on Chinchero airport

Friday, January 13, 2017

A consortium led by Peru's Andino Investment Holding (AIH) will start construction on the delayed US$404mn Chinchero airport for the city of Cusco by January 31, transport and communications minister Martín Vizcarra said.

Vizcarra, deputy transport minister Fiorella Molinelli and deputy tourism minister Rogers Valenciamet in Lima with Cusco regional president Edwin Licona, congressmen and local government officials to coordinate the startup of the project, according to the transport ministry.

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The project, originally estimated to cost US$500mn, was delayed by at least a year after the Kuntur Wasi consortium and the government were unable to reach an agreement on terms of project financing.

"The important thing isn't laying the cornerstone, but rather the moment the project starts operations," Vizcarra said in a statement. "This is a project that will open up development opportunities for the southern region."

Peru's government, which aims to fast-track billions of dollars in infrastructure projects, will provide five year financing for US$140mn in earthworks, according to the ministry. The cost of construction of the terminal is estimated at US$264mn.

Andino's CEO Carlos Vargas didn't immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment. January was a feasible startup date, Vargas told BNamericas in November.

Lima-based Andino and Argentina's Corporación América won the bidding in 2014 for the airport, which will take five years to build and be the gateway to the Machu Picchu Inca citadel, Peru's biggest tourist destination. The airport is projected to handle 5mn passengers per year by 2030, according to the ministry.

Tourism, which brought in an estimated US$4bn in 2016, is one of Peru's biggest hard currency earners.