Honduras To Build New, Safer Airport

April 1, 2016

Honduras will build a new USD$163 million airport designed to improve on the poor safety record of the existing airport in the capital city, Tegucigalpa.

The project will be led by a consortium of local firm Inversiones EMCO and Flughafen Munchen, the operator of Germany's Munich Airport, which will invest USD$87 million and receive a 30-year concession. The rest of the money will come from the Honduran government and a Spanish cooperation fund.

Tegucigalpa is surrounded by hills and its airport has a reputation as one of the most treacherous in Latin America due to a difficult approach and a short runway of less than 6,000 feet.

The new airport is meant as an alternative "so that passengers can land in an airport that does not put their lives at risk," Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said at a press conference.

In the most recent fatal accident, in 2011, 14 passengers died after their plane crashed into a hill near the airport. The worst accident was in 1989, when a jet crash killed 131 people.

The new airport, with a longer, 2440 m (8,000 foot) runway, will be 65 km from the capital near the Palmerola military air base.

It is expected to open in 2018 and is part of the government's plans to improve the country's infrastructure and communications, mostly through private concessions.