Business Group Says International Airport Needed In Junin

Business leaders in Peru’s central Junin region say the department needs an international airport in order to boost its economic activity, state news agency Andina reported.

Marco Antonio Cajas, president of the chamber of commerce in Huancayo, Junin’s capital city, said that the airport could be in either Jauja or Orcotuna but that it should not be postponed.   Jauja is approximately 50 km from Huancayo and Orcotuna is halfway between both towns.

“The benefits to the economy and tourism would not only be for our province but for all of the Junin region, including the Pasco region, since we are the gateway to the central highlands and jungle,” said Cajas.

Last week, protests over where the airport would be built erupted in Junin. A stretch of the Central Highway, which connects central Peru to Lima, was blocked, while one person died in the confrontation with police.

Residents and authorities in Jauja, where a small airport already operates, were protesting the possibility of building the international airport in Orcotuna, located closer to Huancayo.   Meanwhile, the president of the Junin region, Vladimir Cerrón, argues that upgrading the Jauja airport is inviable.

Residents were concerned that resources for modernizing Jauja’s airport, allocated earlier this year, would decrease or even be dropped completely because of the focus of building an airport at Orcotuna.

A day after the protests, Carlos Paredes, Peru’s minister of Transport and Communications, said the government would cancel feasibility studies planned for the new international airport.  His decision has been criticized by several political analysts since a feasibility study is essential to determine if the Jauja airport can be upgraded for international traffic or if a new airport should be built in the Orcotuna-Sicaya area.

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