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Latin America Investment News on Viva Tropical

Nicaragua’s Empty Million Dollar Airport

Article Summary:

The airport on Ometepe Island has infrastructure which is ready but remains closed and unable to arouse the interest of any airlines.

Photo Credit: La Prensa Nicaragua

Original Article Text From La Prensa Nicaragua via Google Translate :

Airport millionaire but use

On the track of the new Airport La Paloma Ometepe Island are the only users who herd cattle ranchers in the area and one other island by motorbike using it as a shortcut.

Rudi Tijerina while herded their cattle contemplates a closed airfield perimeter fence . La Paloma Airport has a runway 1,500 meters long and 35 meters wide , with a capacity for 56,000 airplanes pounds, with a capacity of 42 passengers. It’s finished , including the control tower and the customs office , but their closed gates blocking vehicular crossing , showing that still does not work.

When will it be opened ? Tour operators and representatives of the Office of Tourism Ometepe have heard the rumor that it will be in October. It is a long delay because the Nicaraguan Tourism Institute ( Intur ) looked to be running between October and December 2012 .

“You have to have staff on Migration, will have to put Customs personnel , and i do not know if you are training staff is going to work there,” said Ruben Rivera , coordinator of the Office of Tourism of the island.

Construction of the airport was $ 10.9 million , according to the rating agency report on the financial situation SCRiesgo to March 2013 of the International Airports Management Company ( EAAI ) .

To cover investment Ometepe Airport and San Juan de Nicaragua , in the department of Rio San Juan , the borrowing ended EAAI with Savings and Credit Cooperative , National Rural Safety ( Caruna ) with $ 18 million .

The financial problems of the company of airports do not improve , however , SCRiesgo agency notes that ” remains committed financial reality , reflected in the level of losses.”

” The assets of the entity shows a decreasing trend with the accumulation of losses , meaning a contraction of 25 percent in the last year,” said SCRiesgo .

Although the level of rating for short and long term is considered “stable” , he keeps the EAAI the requirement to improve its finances , with a debt level for March 2013 for 70.3 million dollars. Your debt is 5.2 times the company’s equity .

To ” ease the financial burden ” of EAAI , the Ministry of Finance took payment Cordobas 69.1 million ( $ 2.8 million ) via reform of the Republic Budget 2013 which approved this week by the National Assembly .

There are already 6.2 million dollars of debt that pays Finance Caruna because in October 2012 the government budget is also used $ 3.4 million for the same purpose .
Ometepe Airport was presented to the residents and local businesses as an opportunity to increase the flow of visitors , as well as improve their economic profile .

However, Levy Sylvia Ramirez , president of the National Chamber of Tourism of Nicaragua ( Canatur ) , is concerned that this airport is not used to the point that he planned to President Daniel Ortega stating it in his meeting with the private sector to earlier this month .

Levy explains that he could not do by the ” tight time ” of the meeting . Canatur now seeks meeting with EAAI Intur and to define a strategy to arouse the interest of the airlines to open the route to Ometepe , which is not easy because the flow of tourists to cover the high costs of investment, says .

Link to Original Article:

From La Prensa Nicaragua

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