Nicaragua to get an international airport for Managua

Punta Huete would supplement Sandino International Airport (Verde562/CC BY-SA 2.0)
Nicaragua plans to use a loan from China to turn its Punta Huete military airbase near Managua into an international airport, with work scheduled to start in July.

Laureano Ortega Murillo, son of President Daniel Ortega, revealed the plan in an interview with broadcaster TN8 on Sunday.

Ortega Murillo is his father’s adviser for investment and trade.

He said China CAMCE Engineering will carry out the work.

Punta Huete was built in the 1980s during the Contra war and was intended to operate MiG 21 fighters that were never supplied.

It is located on the north shore of Lake Managua, in a position to become a major airport for the country’s capital.

The plan is to add an extra 600m to the 3km-long runway and build a terminal for 3.5 million passengers a year.

He added that a number of road projects were close to being signed, and two hydroelectric projects, the $1.1bn Tumarin dam and the 120MW Moholka dam – were advancing.

The announcement follows the signing of a $430m loan agreement in December. This was concluded after a phone conversation between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Ortega.

This money is to be divided between Punta Huete and a liquefied gas terminal to be called Tres Esferas.

China and Nicaragua re-established diplomatic relations in 2021 after Managua cut ties with Taiwan. The two countries have signed multiple cooperation agreements since.

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