The new $630 million airport in the Ecuadorian capital has the longest runway in Latin America, officials said.
The inauguration of the new Quito airport on Tuesday marked the end for the old airport, which was built in 1960, ended up being surrounded by the city and will now become a park.
The new aiport, located at 2,400 meters (7,868 feet) above sea level, has a 4,100-meter (13,442-foot) runway, allowing it to offer direct flights to Madrid, Amsterdam, Sao Paulo and New York.
Service was limited at the old airport because planes had to take off with fuel tanks half full to be able to make it off the short runway at an altitude of 2,800 meters (9,180 feet) above sea level.
Of the 11 accidents that occurred at the old airport in the past 30 years, six could have been prevented with a longer runway, President Rafael Correa said during the inauguration ceremony.
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