Colombia Holds First Meeting for PPP Project in the Caribbean

Kevin Rozario


April 24, 2024

mod colombia aerial panorama de San Andres lr

Aerial panorama of San Andres.

© Mr .Jhosimar / Wikipedia

Last week, Colombia’s National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) held its first hearing to present details of a public-private partnership (PPP) project for Gustavo Rojas Pinilla Airport (ADZ), the main gateway to the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia, and Santa Catalina.

The meeting in San Andrés included a technical visit to the facility and it attracted 12 potential investors. According to ANI, the event allowed interested parties to obtain as much information as they could about the project before deciding whether they would move ahead with an expression of interest (EOP) by the July 12 deadline.

In terms of passengers, ADZ is the sixth busiest airport in Colombia processing 2.4 million travelers in 2019. The archipelago in the Caribbean is one of the departments of the South American country although it is much nearer to Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Colombia’s current ‘government of change’ since mid-2022 is led by Gustavo Petro and it has successfully advanced the selection process for the ADZ concession. In basic outline, the PPP project winner will modernize and expand the existing terminal to 13,500 square meters and include just over 3,500 square meters of commercial space.

The reconstruction of buildings for airport medical and fire services will also be part of the project as well as the development of urban planning. The latter will have to show awareness and also highlight Raizal customs and culture. The Raizal are an ethnic group from the archipelago.

mod colombia Gustavo Rojas Pinilla airport Mr .Jhosimar

Gustavo Rojas Pinilla Airport.

© Mr Jhosimar / Wikipedia

A 30-year Concession

ANI said that the PPP project will be a 30-year concession and generate over 8,700 direct and indirect jobs. The agency said that investment in the airport would exceed $1 billion for a terminal expansion that will bring capacity up fairly modestly to 2.8 million passengers annually.

The project should also see security, check-in, and boarding improvements that ANI hopes will encourage more traffic as airlines increase their frequencies and expand air connectivity. In turn, this will drive tourist activity, and local commerce, and lift the flow of foreign currency entering the island of San Andrés.

The economy of San Andrés is dependent on tourism and commercial fishing. The island was once a duty-free port with a thriving shopping district and it is still known as a place to go to get bargain prices on products like Colombian gold and emerald jewelry, leather goods, and other Colombian products.

The president of ANI, Francisco Ospina Ramírez said that he wanted to make the award before the end of the year depending on how many interested parties come forward.

More widely in Colombia, ANI said that $12 billion will be poured into the modernization, expansion, and improvement of five airports to generate more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs. This would allow the country to create the capacity to serve 90 million passengers per year.