Chinchero International Airport


Aeropuerto Internacional de Chinchero
Summary
Airport typePublic
OperatorAeropuertos Andinos del Perú
ServesCusco, Peru
LocationChinchero District
Opened2025 (scheduled)
Elevation AMSL12,205 ft / 3,720 m
Coordinates13°25′S 72°04′W / 13.41°S 72.06°W / -13.41; -72.06Coordinates: 13°25′S 72°04′W / 13.41°S 72.06°W / -13.41; -72.06
Websitechinchero.pe

Chinchero International Airport is an under construction international airport in the town of Chinchero District, Cusco Region, Perú.[1][2] It is planned to replace Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport.[3] Its altitude will be 3,720 metres (12,200 ft) above sea level.

History

Site of the airport in November 2021

The idea of an airport in Chinchero began in 1978 when the Peruvian government decided to develop a new airport in the area, though plans were indefinitely delayed due to the internal conflict in Peru.[4] As the conflict subsided, residents in the development area agreed to sell their land in 2011 and in 2012, President Ollanta Humala signed laws to allow the expropriation of land necessary for the airport.[4] On 3 February 2017, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski announced the beginning of the construction of the new Chinchero International Airport.[5]

Construction of the airport began in 2019.[4] Peru and South Korea announced on 24 October 2019 that South Korea would collaborate on the construction of the airport, providing technical assistance.[6]

At the time of unveiling plans for the airport, the anticipated opening date was 2021.[7] However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru, the opening of the airport was delayed to 2025.[4] On 19 November 2021, Hyundai Engineering & Construction broke ground for the airport in a ceremony attended by the company's president Yoon Young-joon.[8]

Plans

Chincero is planned to operate around the clock and will open with the capacity to serve five million passengers annually.[9] Expansion plans include an additional capacity of up to eight million passengers.[9]

Controversy

Cultural impact

The airport project is opposed by archaeologists and local activists due to its potential to destroy historic landmarks and bring additional tourist traffic that would harm Machu Picchu.[10] In 2019, UNESCO called on Peru to cease plans for construction until a heritage impact study could be performed in regard to Machu Picchu, Cusco and the Qhapaq Ñan.[4] The World Monuments Fund again asked President Francisco Sagasti in February 2021 to delay further construction in respect of the recommendations by UNESCO, with the organization stating "The land removal will mean the irreversible destruction of the cultural landscape of Chinchero".[4]

Environment

The construction of the airport would directly affect the area's ecosystem.[4] According to Óscar Paredes Pando of the National University of Saint Anthony the Abbot in Cuzco, the airport would destroy at least seventeen natural springs that provide water to lakes and other wetlands in Cusco.[4]

Function

Initial plans to provide direct flights from Europe and the United States provide opportunities for foreign travelers to bypass Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima during their visits to Cusco.[4] The Ministry of Transport and Communications announced months after construction began in 2019 that transoceanic flights were not possible due to the altitude of the airport while Bruno Papi, a veteran pilot of the Peruvian Air Force, said that the airport may not be able to operate at all due to the difficult mountainous terrain and altitude.[4]

References

  1. ^ "Peru President leads Chinchero Airport's First Stone Laying Ceremony". www.andina.com.pe (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Aeropuerto Internacional de Chinchero – Cusco". Ministerio de Transportes y Comunicaciones - Perú.
  3. ^ "MTC estima inversión de US$ 500 millones en aeropuerto de Chinchero". Andina.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "The Uphill Battle to Stop Peru From Building a New Airport Near Machu Picchu". Smithsonian Magazine. Archived from the original on 24 February 2021. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  5. ^ Gestión, Redacción (3 February 2017). "PPK: Aeropuerto de Chinchero llegará rápidamente a 6 millones de pasajeros al año". Gestion. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  6. ^ PERÚ, Empresa Peruana de Servicios Editoriales S. A. EDITORA. "Aeropuerto de Chinchero: Perú y Corea firman contrato para asistencia técnica". andina.pe (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  7. ^ "Aeropuerto de Chinchero tendrá vuelos directos a Chile, Brasil, Argentina y Ecuador". Andina (news agency) (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Hyundai E&C begins construction of 'Machu Picchu's new gateway' at Chinchero International Airport in Peru". The Korea IT Times (in Korean). 21 November 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Cusco es una fiesta: ya se adjudicó el aeropuerto internacional de Chinchero | LaRepublica.pe". web.archive.org. 5 November 2014. Archived from the original on 5 November 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ Collyns, Dan (14 May 2019). "'It would destroy it': new international airport for Machu Picchu sparks outrage". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
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