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USTDA GRANT SUPPORTS THE MODERNIZATION OF THE NATIONAL AIRPORT SYSTEM IN GUATEMALA

(Left to right) USTDA Country Manager Keith Eischeid, Guatemalan Congresswoman Rosa Elvira Zapeta, Director General of Civil Aviation Juan Josť Carlos, U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala Stephen G. McFarland, and Vice Minister of Communications Estuardo Villatoro pose for a picture at the USTDA grant signing ceremony.
(Left to right) USTDA Country Manager Keith Eischeid, Guatemalan Congresswoman Rosa Elvira Zapeta, Director General of Civil Aviation Juan Josť Carlos, U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala Stephen G. McFarland, and Vice Minister of Communications Estuardo Villatoro pose for a picture at the USTDA grant signing ceremony.

GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA (September 23, 2009) – USTDA awarded a grant yesterday to the Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC), Guatemala’s civil aviation authority, to further efforts to modernize the country’s airport and aviation infrastructure. USTDA has identified this project as having significant potential for mutual benefit, given the importance of this sector to the Guatemalan economy and corresponding U.S. technology and expertise in this sector.

The $509,000 grant was conferred at a signing ceremony held at DGAC’s headquarters in Guatemala City. U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala Stephen G. McFarland and Director General of Civil Aviation Juan José Carlos signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Guatemalan governments, respectively. USTDA Country Manager Keith Eischeid and Vice Minister of Communications Estuardo Villatoro signed as witnesses to the grant agreement.

The USTDA-funded feasibility study will support the DGAC’s efforts to modernize Guatemala’s airport and civil aviation infrastructure by assessing proposed improvements at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, as well as upgrades at the airports in San José on the Pacific Coast and Puerto Barrios on the Caribbean Coast. The study will also examine the expansion of Guatemala’s national civil aviation radar system.

The Government of Guatemala has established the modernization of the country’s airport and aviation infrastructure as a priority in its efforts to promote growth through increased trade and tourism. Since 2002, the Government has invested more than $150 million in new construction and enhancements at airport facilities. The DGAC intends to continue this undertaking with plans to improve aviation safety and airport operational efficiency and increase air cargo trade.

The opportunity to provide assistance to the DGAC under the grant awarded today will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcement will be posted on USTDA’s website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement. The DGAC will select the U.S. firm that will carry out the assistance.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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