Cuenca Mariscal Lamar International Airport, in south-central Ecuador, is to close to all traffic for a period of approximately one month effective August 19 to allow for runway resurfacing works.

The El Tiempo newspaper reports the project, valued at USD773,000, will see a 15metre-wide strip down the centre of the 1,900metre-long main runway 05/23 being milled and re-grooved to prevent aquaplaning during periods of heavy rainfall. The Ecuadorian civil aviation authority (Dirección General de Aviación Civil de Ecuador - DGAC) banned traffic from using the airfield during wet weather after a TAME Ecuador (EQ, Quito Int'l) E190 skidded off the runway while landing during a thunderstorm in April.

As a result, a total of 148 flights have been cancelled since then leading to a corresponding drop in airport charge revenue of USD130,000.

For the duration of works, local authorities have organized twenty minibuses to ferry affected passengers to each of Quito Int'l and Guayaquil and vice versa.