SAN JUAN – The top executive of Aerostar Airport Holdings, a joint venture of U.S. infrastructure fund Highstar Capital and Mexico’s Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste that will operate San Juan’s international airport for 40 years, pledged to make that facility world-class.
Agustin Arellano said in a speech Thursday at the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association that the most significant reforms will be apparent within three years but that the airport, which Aerostar began managing just over a month ago, is already cleaner and access has improved with better signposting.
“Modernizing a fully functioning airport is difficult,” Arellano said.
He said that $250 million will be invested over three years in infrastructure improvements at the Luis Muñoz Marin airport.
“The installations were poorly maintained and we want to make it more attractive to attract new airlines,” the executive said.
Arellano said the priority is to consolidate the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport as the main facility serving the Caribbean, which in turn will allow Puerto Rico to compete with the roughly 30 islands in the region that offer sun and sand tourism.
The 40-year concession to operate Luis Muñoz Marin, awarded last year by then-Gov. Luis Fortuño’s administration, has met with opposition on the U.S. commonwealth from unions, grassroots groups and several small political factions.
Opponents of the deal object to the island’s main infrastructure asset being placed under the control of foreign investors. EFE