The chief of civil aviation in Peru’s Ministry of Transport and Communications said Tuesday that Cusco’s Velasco Astete Airport is ready to safely handle night flights, set to begin Oct. 1.
Ramón Gamarra told Radioprogramas that the runway has been equipped with a $3.8 million, state-of-the-art approach lighting system and software for the control tower. Required Navigation Performance (RNP) technology will help guide pilots both at night and during the day, when bad whether causes lower visibility.
Cusco will expand its operational hours from 5:30 in the evening to 7:45 p.m. at night starting Oct. 1.
Airlines will have some new rules to follow to take advantage of the expanded hours, including flying aircraft with satellite navigation technology and class 3 engines to minimize the noise.
The main reason for the expanded hours is to accommodate Cusco’s growing tourism industry, he said.
Officials estimate the airport will handle more than 2.3 million passengers this year, double the figure recorded in 2007.
The increased number of flights will help carry the increased burden while a new international airport is built in Chinchero, 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the Inca capital city.