The Colombian government has decided to modify the Eje Cafetero airport concession package to focus on Armenia’s El Edén International Airport and the new gateway being built in Palestina.
The decision means that the contracts to operate El Edén in Armenia city and the planned new Aeropuerto del Café airport, located in Quindío and Caldas departments respectively, are expected to be put out to tender next year.
While moves to privatise Pereira’s Matecaña International Airport in Risaralda department and Cartago Airport in Valle del Cauca department as part of the coffee region’s concession package are put on hold.
According to local press reports, Colombia’s civil aviation authority, Aerocivil, is working with investment consultancy firm Consorcio Bonus Ferruan TNM to define the project structure and the financial model of the concessions.
The studies will determine the technical and infrastructure improvements required for the two airports, as well as long-term passenger traffic projections and the length of the concession.
When it opens in the fourth quarter of 2011, Aeropuerto del Café will boast a 2,400-metre runway capable of accommodating larger aircraft than the other gateways in Colombia’s coffee growing region.
The Colombian government has previously stated that it will invest in the development of all El Edén, del Café, Matecaña and Cartago airports itself if no bids are received to operate them.