News: Quito Airport Relocated Out of City Centre

AirPlane_TravelNewsBirdwatchers and Amazon explorers may now say goodbye and good riddance to the white-knuckled joy ride that landing in the Quito, Ecuador airport.

The Mariscal Sucre International Airport, which is precariously wedged between towering volcanoes and municipal blocks high on the western Andean slope, was considered by some as one of the five most dangerous airports in Latin America. Tough-as-nails Latin American crews learned to expertly navigate this cranky, windswept airspace, though its short, cramped runway and changeable conditions contributed to nine tragic incidents over the last 30 years.

The airport closed in February, 2013 and will be relocated to Tababela, 20 kilometres outside the city centre. The airport was built to handle 290 flights per day (90 more than at Mariscal Sucre) and the runway will be at least 1,000 meters longer than the old one.

The easier approach and lower elevation of the airport are expected to improve safety, though some pilots challenge that assertion.

What does this mean for nature travelers? Quito has a new, hopefully safer airport, and you should expect a 90-minute commute from the new airport back to the city centre.


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