After failed negotiations with InterAirports, President Porfirio Lobo announced that in February 2013 a tender will be put out for the works.
The president added, "In the previous Cabinet meeting of ministers COALIANZA said they will put out a tender because an agreement could not be reached in direct negotiations with the current concessionaire."
Interairports company representatives have announced the investment after receiving approval for the project from the Porfirio Lobo government.
The company holding the concession to operate Honduran airports expects the works at Palmerola to be completed by the end of 2013, for which they will need to begin as soon as possible after finalizing the necessary paperwork with the government.
The Government finally reached an agreement with InterAirports to build a terminal at Palmerola, located 70 kilometers to the north of Tegucigalpa.
"There is an initial agreement for the construction of a terminal at the Palmerola military airport," the manager of the company, Carlos Ramos, announced at a press conference with the Minister of the Presidency, Enrique Flores.
The commercial airport concessionaire in the country, InterAirports, confirmed its interest in converting Palmerola into an international air terminal.
This company is awaiting an answer from the government for the third proposal presented on Thursday night. The investment will range between $35 to $50 million depending on State requirements.
"They asked whether or not we are qualified to build an airport at Palmerola and we have told them yes; we have presented complete plans and documents," highlighted Carlos Ramos, manager of InterAirports.
President Lobo has vetoed a $34 fee for nationals and tourists that was firmly opposed by the tourism industry.
The president of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo, recently announced that the controversial "immigration whack" of $34 that was going to be charged to domestic and foreign travelers entering and leaving the country, has been vetoed.
If no agreement is reached with InterAirports, the concession for the new Honduran airport at Palmerola could be put out to tender.
So stated President Porfirio Lobo, who asked the Commission for the Promotion of Public-Private Partnerships (COALIANZA) to not let the project "go cold”. "[I hope] COALIANZA doesn’t let the subject of Palmerola go cold. I say that because a bidding process may have to be initiated if we are not able to negotiate with the concessionaire. We would initiate the process and somehow compensate the concessionaire for what the loss of the operation of Toncontín means to them. "
In the event of not reaching an agreement with the current concessionaire, the government of Honduras is planning alternatives.
The Commission for the Promotion of Public-Private Partnerships (Coalianza) has a period of 10 days in which to reach an agreement with InterAirports SA (IASA) on the renegotiation of the technical and financial model for the construction of Palmerola, which they have been unable to finalize for the last five months.
The government has asked InterAiports to decide whether or not they will participate in the management of the airport.
The plan to use Palmerola as a commercial airport is still on the table.
It has been reported that President Manuel Zelaya gave an ultimatum of 96 hours for the airport company to reply, however InterAirports said in a press release that the time given is to update the proposals presented in June 2008.
The government earmarked the above figure so that the Armed Forces could build or equip a commercial airport at the Palmerola base.
There will be no need for a tender for the construction of the airport since direct purchases were approved by "emergency" decree.
Laprensahn.com reported statements from the Minister of the Presidency, Enrique Flores Lanza: "The concessionaire, InterAirports, advised the Executive Branch that it did not have the capacity to build the terminal and it would therefore accept for another company to build and manage it. In order to build the project, $12.5 million (237.75 billion lempiras) from Petrocaribe funds will be used."
The Spanish consultancy company ALG is advising the Government of Honduras on the economic model and the contest rules for awarding Palmerola to a private operator.
Laprensa.hn reports that failure to reach an agreement with InterAirports has meant the resumption of the process "to define the economic model, how the bidding will be conducted and the nature of the contract between the state and the company that will finally take over the project. "
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