In 2003, OPIC committed $200 million in financing to support the construction of the Mariscal Sucre International Airport (Quiport) in Quito, Ecuador. Since the new airport opened in 2013, it has produced far-reaching benefits from Ecuador to the United States.

Mariscal Sucre International Airport

A modern new airport

Located in the high Andes Mountains about 11 miles east of Quito, Quiport has proven to be a game changer for tourism and commerce in Ecuador. The airport replaced one of the world’s most dangerous airports with a modern new facility that boasts the longest runway in South America, is committed to sustainable practices, and is supported by surrounding infrastructure to support future growth.

Emerging Market

“Without OPIC it is highly unlikely the project would have moved forward. It was a complex project in a complex emerging market. The catalytic bank that made all the difference was OPIC.”

Ramon Miro, President and CFO of HAS Development Corporation, which served as a key partner in the concession company, Quiport, that oversaw construction.

Before and after: A new focus on safety

As these two runway images illustrate, the new airport was built to provide much more space for pilots to safely land and take off. The old airport was in the middle of downtown Quito and due to the high elevation and the short 3,120 meter runway, landing was challenging. Quiport was built 11 miles outside of the city, with a 4,098 meter runway, the longest in South America.

Quiport

Increased tourism to Ecuador

With three quarters of all foreign tourists to Ecuador arriving in and/or departing from Quito, the expanded airport capacity has directly supported increased tourism to Ecuador. Quiport has enjoyed triple-digit growth year over year for three years and because larger planes can land, new routes have been added from more distant locations in Europe and Asia. Since the airport opened the number of passengers traveling to and from Quito has doubled.

Ecuador Tourism

Creating new opportunities for the tourism sector

As the airport expanded, it created more opportunities for air carriers, such as Jet Blue, which began serving Quito. While airlines flying into Ecuador had traditionally served older, more affluent travelers passing through Quito on the way to the Galapagos Islands, carriers like JetBlue helped introduce a new type of traveler interested in the sights in and around Quito. Jet Blue’s route from New York to Quito reached 90 percent capacity in its first year, far exceeding industry standards.

Ecuador Female Entrepreneurs

The Dallas-based Wyndham hotel chain is one of many tourism businesses that has opened in and around the airport.

Wyndham

Procurement of American Goods & Services

More than 25 U.S. businesses provided goods and services such as check-in counters and other furnishings used in the construction of the airport. Fish Construction, a small business based in Stafford, Texas, provided all the casework for the new check-in counters, gate counters, self-service podiums and customer service counters.

$85M

Amount of Procurement Generated

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Empowering local entrepreneurs

Quiport 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. Alicia Gomez, once a subsistence farmer, is supported through the Nuestra Huerta program and she now regularly fills orders for hundreds of airport employees each week. Her growing business uses industrial kitchen equipment, applies safety and sanitation standards, and packages products to cater individual clients’ specifications.

Ecuador Female Entrepreneurs

Building toward a stronger future

Rebeca Baquero, another local entrepreneur who was supported by Quiport, started a strawberry business with her mother. She has been able to sell her products at the airport, building a profitable business that employs other women, becoming a local role model.

Female Entrepreneurs

“I am happy to be able to provide for my daughter and set a good example.”