Minister Ablonczy Attends Inauguration of New Quito International Airport

February 19, 2013 - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), was in Ecuador today to attend the inauguration of the New Quito International Airport.

The new international airport in Quito is the biggest Canadian infrastructure project in Latin America and is the Canadian Commercial Corporation’s flagship international civil engineering project. The US$700 million project, which began in July 2006, is one of the few greenfield airport projects in the world. The airport incorporates world-class technology and has been recognized by the United Nations for its environmentally responsible construction.

“Canada is proud of the role it has played in building and financing the New Quito International Airport,” said Minister Ablonczy. “This facility is a prime example of the knowledge and expertise that Canada brings to projects around the world, and is an excellent demonstration of the success of public-private partnerships.”

The new airport will help address Ecuador’s growing long-term needs for tourism, exports and enhanced participation in the global economy, notably by enabling non-stop flights from Quito to Canada, the United States and Europe.

The Canadian Commercial Corporation is the Government of Canada’s international contracting agency, with a mandate to help Canadian companies win contracts with foreign government buyers.

Minister Ablonczy also met with Ecuadorian government officials, following Sunday’s re-election of President Rafael Correa, to discuss areas of mutual cooperation between Canada and Ecuador.

Minister Ablonczy’s visit to Ecuador is part of a four-country official trip to Latin America. The tour, which also includes stops in Nicaragua, Colombia and Chile, is helping to advance Canada’s ongoing engagement in the Americas—a foreign policy priority since 2007—and its three goals of increasing economic opportunity, strengthening security and institutions, and fostering lasting relationships in the region.

For more information, please see Canada-Ecuador Relations, the Canadian Commercial Corporation and Minister Ablonczy Travels to Central and South America.

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A backgrounder follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Joshua Zanin
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)
613-944-2300

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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Backgrounder - Canada and the New Quito International Airport

In 2005, the Canadian Commercial Corporation signed a contract with the airport authority of the Municipality of Quito for the construction of the New Quito International Airport (NQIA). The Canadian Commercial Corporation, in turn, subcontracted all of its construction obligations to Aecon Construction Group Inc., one of Canada’s largest construction firms. This series of contracts assured Ecuador that the Government of Canada would continue to remain responsible for the construction of the airport while entrusting the work to expert contractors. Aecon is a major shareholder in Corporación Quiport SA (Quiport corporation), which will manage and operate the airport until 2040.

Thanks in large part to the strong engagement of all project participants, the NQIA has won UN awards for corporate social responsibility and environmental responsibility. In addition, the project has helped transfer world-class construction capabilities, technology and standards to the Ecuadorian firms that make up 85 percent of the subcontractors on the project. The new airport, at 2,400 metres altitude and with the tallest control tower and longest runway in the region, will enable non-stop flights from Quito to more destinations in North America and Europe and contribute significantly to Ecuador’s economic growth.

Export Development Canada was a key institution in the lending group that financed and insured the NQIA and helped pave the way for the successful completion of the NQIA.