Guayaquil’s new intercontinental airport in Daular (26 kilometres out of town) will not be inaugurated in 2024, as originally scheduled. The plans were affected by the falling passenger arrival numbers in the existing airport, José Joaquín de Olmedo.
The first phase previously due to be inaugurated in 2024 consists of two parallel runways 4,100 and 2,500 metres in length and 36 gates for embarkment.
Work cannot begin until the 3.5 million mark for the city’s international air traffic is in sight, explained Guayaquil Mayor Jaime Nebot. Construction would then take a further three years. But the project, Nebot added, has already been completely planned and designed by Perkins Eastman, one of the biggest such companies in the world which is active in five continents.
The postponement has also hit urban development plans for the area around José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport.
The delay was triggered by a report by LeighFisher consultants showing major declines in the number of passengers using the international airports of Quito and Guayaquil since 2011. Air traffic is slowly growing again but 3.5 million passengers is now a more remote target. These declines are partly because the recovery of oil prices increases the operational costs of airlines although LeighFisher also add that the volatility of this commodity complicates forecasts.
Once technical projections point to a total of 3.5 million passengers in three years’ time, thus creating the competitive conditions, the tender for the new Daular airport will go through, says the Guayaquil airport authority (AAG). The concession contract is already in place.
Finally, Nebot said that Viva Aire low-cost airline is interested in operating out of Guayaquil, which would mean 700,000 more passengers despite the crisis.