Published on April 5th, 2015 | by Mark Chesnut


Airport to Nowhere: A Look Inside the Old Quito Airport in Ecuador


For decades, it was one of the busiest airports in Ecuador, shuttling passengers from around the world into and out of the nation’s capital. Since the brand-new Mariscal Sucre International Airport opened in 2013 outside the city however, the original Quito airport has sat nearly empty, awaiting its next role.

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Already, parts of the old airport are finding new life. Much of the runway area and grounds have been turned into a city park, with cyclists speeding down the former runway, while Quito Turismo, the city tourism authority, uses part of the airport terminal as office space, and a shuttle bus service to the new airport operates from one side of the old terminal.

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I recently had the opportunity to tour the tarmac and empty terminal area of the old Quito airport, and took some photos of what is usually difficult to capture: an uncrowded, nearly unused airport terminal building. It’s a quiet and peaceful place, making it easier to take note of the many beautiful architectural details that ordinarily we overlook when we travel, due to the distractions of people, planes and flight times. It will be interesting to see what happens next to this space — and for now, it’s an interesting piece of architecture that surely has lots of stories to tell.

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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