Cuenca airport shows growth, plans upgrades in 2019
The publicly owned Airport Corporation of Cuenca (CORPAC) says it plans major upgrades to the airport in 2019, including runway and security improvements. CORPAC director Carlos Jácome, says the improvements are needed to handle anticipated growth. “Air travel increased for the first time in eight years in 2017 and we expect more passengers in 2018 and 2019,” said, pointing out that airport still operates at a deficit. “To reach a break-even point, we need to serve 480,000 passengers a year. Now we are at 310,000, which is great improvement over 2015 and 2016 when we were processing less than 200,000.” In addition to the scheduled work at the end of the runway, the 2019 budget includes funds to plan for extension of the runway from the current 1,900 meters to 2,500 meters.
Municipal council debates tram safety
Cuenca’s Council of Citizen Security has introduced its plan for the safe operation of Cuenca’s tram system, scheduled to begin operations in early 2019. The council’s recommendations, presented to the Cuenca municipal
council on Tuesday, focuses on passenger safety, vandalism prevention and preventing traffic and pedestrian accidents. “Our biggest challenge is the interaction of the train with vehicular traffic and pedestrians,” says Rómulo Montalvo, council director. Montalvo has studied tram operation in European cities, particularly Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, which operates a system similar to Cuenca’s. “There will be accidents and there is simply no way to avoid them entirely,” he says. “There were 31 accidents last year in Vitoria, almost all of them involving the carelessness of drivers and pedestrians. We are looking at their plan mitigation plan and hope to implement many of their safety programs.”
Car sales grow by 64% in 2018
Automobile sales have increased dramatically in the first four months of 2018, according to the Ecuador Chamber of the Automotive Industries. The chamber credits the increase to the elimination of import quotas and the reduction on tariffs. It said that much of the growth is the result of the trade agreement with the European Union that went into effect last year.
Government considers reducing cell phone taxes, internet fees
Ecuador’s Minister of Telecommunications Guillermo León is recommending the reduction of fees and taxes that he says are an impediment to technological advancement. “The universal access to new communication technologies is restricted at the moment by tariffs and taxes on cell phones, computer equipment and internet connections,” he says. He added that he is preparing legislation to make changes to the country’s Telecommunication Law.