The ground has been broken, and work has begun at the site for the new international airport near Machu Picchu, Peru. The President of Peru has stated that this area was in dire need of an airport that could handle larger planes from more international destinations. He believes that the new international airport would improve tourism to Machu Picchu and the surrounding areas.
As can be expected, there has been significant protests against the airport. Experts from around the world have stated that the air traffic and airport itself could damage the Sacred Valley beneath Machu Picchu where the airport will be built and that the pollution and urbanization could damage all of the ancient structures.
Concerns over water supplies are another big issue with protesters. Many people are worried that too many resources will be diverted from the local area to construct the airport. Chinchero International Airport is located 30 miles from Machu Picchu. That said, those looking to visit Machu Picchu will still have to hike the trails or take the train to get there.
At this time, the president has stated that construction of the airport will continue. The government has stated that they have conducted all the necessary research and testing and believe that there will not be any problems or concerns from building the new airport.
At the same time that Peru's president is trying to increase tourism to Machu Picchu and the surrounding areas, the government branch responsible for maintaining and protecting the areas have started limiting access to the structure to protect it from overuse. Visitors are now limited to a four-hour visit to the ruins and cannot gain re-entry if they leave during that time period.