Cuenca’s Mariscal La Mar Airport suspends all operations at 10 p.m. tonight as work begins to upgrade the runway. The airport has operated under landing and take-off restrictions since a Tame jet skidded off the runway during a wet weather landing April 29.
The runway milling and resurfacing begins Saturday morning, according to Juan Fernandez, executive director of the Cuenca Airport Corporation, and will take 30 days to complete. He added that the new surface, which will cover 1,900-meters by 15 meters, will provide better traction for aircraft landings and will improve drainage. The contractor, Hidalgo e Hidalgo, will work 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Latam, one of the two airlines serving the airport, said that ticket-holders for flights scheduled during the closure, can reschedule itineraries or receive refunds. As of Thursday, Tame Airlines had not announced its policy.
Fernandez said that bus service from the airport to airports in Guayaquil and Quito will begin Monday morning. A fleet of 20 15-passenger mini-buses will provide 26 trips daily from the airport, he said, with departure times depending on demand. Ticket prices are $12.50 to Guayaquil and $21 to Quito.