Experts and locals warn that new Chinchero airport may destroy Machu Picchu
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Experts and locals are warning that the construction of a new airport in Chinchero may destroy Machu Picchu as we know it. The fears follow the commencement of construction to build a 40,000 square metre international airport in the Sacred Valley, the former heart of the Incan empire.
stalled by rumours of corruption and political disagreement. By January this year the process to build the Chinchero airport had begun, with the Peruvian government projecting that the site in the small Andean village will be completed by October 2023. Despite outcry from activists, environmentalists and archaeologists alike, Peru’s finance minister, Carlos Oliva, believes that the airport is “very necessary for the city of Cusco,” according to the Guardian. Currently most travellers reach the ancient ruins by flying to Cusco airport, which has one runway catering to domestic flights. The new airport in Chinchero will have the capacity to receive international flights from across the world, making it possible for visitors to jet in and out in a matter of hours. 2017 saw 1.5 million visitors descend upon Machu Picchu. UNESCO claimed this was more than double the recommended amount. This has led to measures such as the introduction of split time sessions limited to less than four hours per visit and restrictions on the Wayana Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains to less than 400 visitors a day.
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