The expansion and upgrade of Baltra Airport project involves adapting its existing facilities to accommodate for the increasing tourist population to the Galápagos Islands. The archipelago is characterized by its high ecological value; it makes part of the National System of Protected Areas of Ecuador; has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage site among other high ecological value designations; and is also a RASMAR site for the protection of wetlands. Baltra airport is one of the two Galápagos Islands airports, and main tourist entry point to the archipelago. The project is anticipated to have beneficial social and economic impacts for the residents of the islands.
The construction, operation and management of the expansion and upgrading are done through Corporación América with a budget of about US $35 million. The project aims to enhance environmental quality and reduce energy consumption by integrating bioclimatic and natural conditioning strategies within the design of the new terminal. The terminal is also seeking gold certification under USGBC’s LEED Green Building Rating System as it counts with significant reductions of 40% in water use and energy consumption. Further reductions are expected once the new terminal’s wind farm begins operations. Around 75% of the materials from the old terminal have been reused on the new building.