Supporting development by strengthening local airports
OPIC’s ability to provide large amounts of financing with long tenors makes it uniquely suited to support major infrastructure projects that require large investments of time and money. In recent years, OPIC financing has supported the construction or expansion of three airports in Latin America.
- The expansion of the Mariscal Sucre Airport in Quito, Ecuador.
- The privatization and reconstruction of the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, Peru.
- The expansion of the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica, which had stalled under the management of a previous investor.
In addition to helping make air travel more reliable, these airports have also helped to create jobs and stimulate tourism and local economies. The new Quito airport, which is now one of the busiest in South America, has supported a 50 percent increase in passenger traffic over 2006 levels at the old airport, along with a 45 percent increase in cargo exports over that same time period, and the direct or indirect creation of 7,000 jobs.
As this video from the Mariscal Sucre airport illustrates, the facility was designed to be sustainable in multiple ways, from serving locally grown fruits and vegetables in its dining facilities, to investing in advanced garbage recycling programs that help generate earnings from the waste produced.
The Costa Rica and Peru airports have both prepaid their OPIC loans by issuing debt in the capital markets, milestone achievements that indicate they have reached a level of sustainability to become bankable by private sources of finance.