2 New Rural Airports In the Works for 2011

September 24, 2010

MANAGUA – Two new airport projects initiated by the Sandinista government aim to increase access to two up-and-coming rural tourism destinations in Nicaragua within the next year.

The first, announced this week by Nicaragua’s International Airport Administration Firm (EAAI), is a planned airport on Ometepe Island, in Lake Cocibolca. The new airport will include a 1,000-meter long airstrip that can handle 20-passenger planes, and eventually include a terminal for seaplanes landing on the lake, according to the daily La Prensa.

The Ometepe airport will be built in the municipality of Moyagalpa, where the main ferry terminal currently receives some 3,000 tourists each month.

EAAI reports that there is already interest from local and regional airlines in offering flights to the volcanic island once the airstrip is opened, perhaps as soon as next year.

Meanwhile, separate plans are advancing to build an airstrip in the remote, southern Caribbean jungle town of San Juan del Norte (formerly known as Greytown), on the delta of the San Juan River.

Tourism Minister Mario Salinas told The Nica Times that international financing has already been lined up for the San Juan del Norte airport, and the construction contracts are expected to be signed in the coming weeks.

“Construction will last 10 months and the airport should be functioning by next August,” Salinas said.

 The new airport, he said, will serve as a starting point for the government’s much-touted “Water Route” tourism project, a three- to five-day tour up the San Juan River and into Lake Cocibolca.

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