In the on-going saga of Cuenca’s Mariscal La Mar Airport, another date for resurfacing the runway has been announced. At the same time, the Tame Airlines jet at the center of the drama has been declared “destroyed and not restorable.”
Juan Fernández, director of the Cuenca Airport Corporation, announced Monday that runway work will begin August 15 and will be completed on September 15. In earlier statements, airport officials said resurfacing would begin August 8 and then August 12.
“We will work very hard to maintain this schedule to limit the inconvenience to travelers,” Fernández said.
The resurfacing was ordered by Ecuador’s aviation authority to bring the airport into compliance with aviation standards. Since the Tame jet slipped off a wet runway on April 28, airport landings and take-offs have been limited to dry weather conditions due to drainage and friction issues.
Also on Monday, Airfleets Aviation, a service that monitors aircraft quality for the airlines industry, reported that the Tame Embraer 190 jet was total loss. “The aircraft suffered structural damage during the accident and is considered destroyed and not restorable,” the report said. The jet, parked on the Cuenca airport tarmac, will have to be disassembled in place, Airfleets said.
According Santiago Lopez, director of Municipal Enterprises, which is responsible for runway repaving, the work will cover a surface area of 78,000 square meters. The project will make the airport fully operational for two to three years until plans can be made for runway extension, he says. The work will cost $970,000.