Year In Review

Latin America • Year in Review • 2018

Brazil – Dec 15/18 – Belo Horizonte Airport Concessionaire Secures Critical Credit Facility

Concessionária do Aeroporto Internacional de Confins S.A., the concessionaire for Belo Horizonte Airport has secured a USD130m credit facility from Banco Nacional de Desarrollo Económico y Social. Founded in 2014, the special purpose company includes 25% shareholding by Zurich Airport Int’l AG.

Colombia – Nov 29/18 – Bogota Capacity to Come via El Dorado Expansion, New Airport Shelved

Thanks in large part to vocal airline support, the Colombian government has decided to shelve its plan for development of a second P3 airport for Bogota in favour of expanding the existing El Dorada Airport, which currently handles over 35 million passengers per year and has an existing design capacity of more than 40 million annual passengers. According to government forecasts, Bogota is poised to reach 100 million passengers annually by 2030.

Mexico – Oct 31/18 – President-elect Obrador Kills New Mexico City Airport Project on Heels of Rushed Referendum 

Incoming President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has vowed to kill the $13.3b new Mexico City airport development, based on the results of a hastily-organized referendum in which 70% of ballots were cast in opposition of the mega project. Referendum skeptics point to the paltry turn-out in which just over 1 million votes were cast, representing less than 2% of Mexico’s poll-weary registered voters.

Ecuador – Sep 30/18 – Quito Airport Embarks on Expansion Plan a Mere 5 Years After Opening

Quito’s Mariscal Sucre Int’l Airport is getting set for a US$90m expansion and improvement program, a mere 5 years after its initial opening, thanks to impressive traffic growth.  The capital works program will run into 2020, with US$60m invested in increasing terminal capacity and US$30m earmarked to reconfigure existing facilities.

Brazil – Sep 28/18 – Alibaba Sets its Sights on Brazil’s Beleaguered Viracopos Airport Concession

The beleaguered Viracopos Airport (VCP) concession has a new suitor in China’s Alibaba Group. The mega online retailer is reportedly interested in acquiring the concession, as the current operator prepares to surrender its rights in the wake of economic crisis sparked by the “lavo jato” scandal. Alibaba’s seeks to leverage VCP as its Brazilian cargo and logistics hub.

Paraguay – Sep 10/18 – Paraguay Kills Tender, Opting Instead to Self-fund & Manage Expansion of Asunción Airport

In the aftermath of the derailed concession process, the Paraguay’s government has announced plans to self-fund and manage expansion and modernization Asunción – Silvio Pettirossi Int’l Airport. An award notice was issued to the bid group of Sacyr-Agunsa, however late last year the country’s Comptroller intervened leading to termination of the tender process.

Peru – Sep 09/18 – Lima Airport Partners Select Contractor Group for Major Jorge Chavez Airport Expansion

FCC Construction, Salini Impregilo and AECOM have been selected execute the Jorge Chavez Int’l Airport (LIM) expansion project in Lima, Peru. The contract, awarded by LIM’s operating company Lima Airport Partners (LAP), comes on the heels of the 7th Addendum to the LAP Concession Agreement which officialized key terms of the concession extension including outstanding land acquisition issues. The current shareholders in LAP include Fraport, IFC and local partner ACC.

Chile – Aug 23/18 – El Tepual Airport Concession Subject to Possible “Adjustments” as Sacyr Eyes Other Chilean Concessions

The contract awarded to the Sacyr-Agunsa consortium to expand and operate El Tepual airport, near Chile’s southern city of Puerto Montt, is anticipated to undergo unspecified “adjustments” as Sacyr considers involvement in the next round of Chilean highway concessions. Sacyr and Agunsa have also been collaborating on other projects, including concession of Paraguay’s Asunción Airport, where they were identified at preferred bidder, however award has been stymied by a court challenge.

Mexico – Aug 01/18 – AMLO’s Team Assessing Private Concession Option for Delivery of Mexico’s New Airport

The new AMLO government is said to be assessing the prospects of structuring the new Mexico City Airport project as a private concession versus a conventional public procurement/funding model. AMLO’s infrastructure team in the process of assessing technical and financial options to deliver the USD13.4b project, which is currently being funded from the public purse.

Ecuador – Jul 12/18 – Corporación América Subsidiary Secures Extension to Guayaquil Airport Concession

Corporación América’s subsidiary, Terminal Aeroportuaria de Guayaquil (TAGSA) has secured a 5-year extension of its Guayaquil Airport concession from Autoridad Aeroportuaria de Guayaquil and the Municipality of Guayaquil, which will now expire in 2029. In exchange, TAGSA will invest an additional USD32.2m into the airport to facilitate passenger traffic growth.

Costa Rica – Jun 10/18 – CCR Exercises First Refusal Right to Assume Control of SJO Concession

On the heels of VINCI’s unexpected move back in April to acquire the Airports Worldwide portfolio, including Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría Airport (SJO), Brazilian infrastructure group CCR has exercised first refusal rights on the SJO concession company Aeris, increasing its stake from 49% to a controlling interest of 97.15%, at a cost of USD60m.

Chile – Jun 07/18 – Santiago’s Terminal Expansion Project Delayed as New Gov’t Vows to Accelerate Design Approvals

The ongoing USD650m expansion of Santiago’s Arturo Merino Benítez airport is facing construction delays. Consorcio Nuevo Pudahuel, the successful bidder for the new concession awarded in 2015, recently requested a deadline extension, citing delays in design approvals from country’s public works ministry as a key factor hindering progress of the works. Chile’s new gov’t, which took office in March, has vowed to accelerate the design review and approval process.

Brazil – Jun 02/18 – Brazil Launches the Latest Round of Airport Concessions     

Following an extended hiatus, Brazil has launched public hearings for the concession of three airport bundles – the Central East, Northeast and Central West blocks – including Recife and 12 other smaller airports. The three bundles, which handle roughly 20m per year in total, are being offered under a 30-year concession in a so-called “steak-and-bone” grouping.

Colombia – May 26 – Bogota’s New El Dorado II Airport Setting Stage for Competitive Tension

At last, following years of study and local debate, the bidder process for the second Bogota-area airport (El Dorado II) is set to kick off in August. The initial phase, costed at US$1.06b, is slated for completion within five years of ground-breaking. On opening, it will compete directly with its namesake – privately-operated Bogota (BOG) El Dorado Int’l Airport.

Brazil – May 11/18 – Viracopos Files for Creditor Protection Amid Traffic Shortfalls & Political Turmoil    

The private concession company responsible for development and operation of Viracopos Airport has filed for bankruptcy protection, with the Brazilian securities authorities. Awarded to a French-Brazilian consortium back in 2012, the concession has fallen on hard times as traffic forecasts have failed to materialize in the wake of the “lavo-jato” scandal and associated economic downturn. Court proceedings aside, the operator has provided assurances that operations with continue, as normal.

Brazil – Mar 08/18 – Infraero Balks on Paying Its Share of Capital Investment in Belo Horizonte Airport

Brazilian state airport operator and government-imposed investor Infraero has refused to invest its share of capital into the Belo Horizonte airport concession company, in a stand-off with its private partners. Per the airport company’s 2018 budget, Infraero was expected to contribute US$12.1m to the Belo Horizonte annual capital program.

Mexico – Feb 24/18 – Mexico’s GAP Appoints New CEO to Head Group

Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP) announced appointment of Raul Revuelta Musalem as Chief Executive Officer of the group effective of April 26, 2018. Mr. Revuelta currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Cross Border Xpress in San Diego, California and previously worked with GAP as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Commercial Officer from 2005 to 2015.

Colombia – Feb 01/18 – Colombia’s Armenia Airport to See PPP Investment 

The national infrastructure agency of Colombia has announced plans for a US$21m PPP structured project at Armenia – El Edén airport, which will be added to the USD$25m project already underway. The airport is currently served by Spirit Airlines, Avianca, Air Panama and Aerolínea de Antioquia.

Argentina – Jan 02/18 – Corporación América Airports Going Public

Argentina’s Corporación América Airports (CAA) is in the midst of issuing an US100m IPO, however pundits suggest it could actually attract up to USD1b in new capital. CAA operates the largest number of airports in the world, totaling 51 including 33 in its native Argentina with the balance located in Brazil, Armenia, Ecuador, Italy, Peru and Uruguay.