New Chilean airport terminal with 29 million passenger capacity

The Public Works Ministry presented preliminary plans for the construction of a new airport terminal to be completed by 2019. 

The Chilean Public Works Ministry has announced plans for a new international terminal at the Santiago International Airport, which will be ready by 2019 and be equipped for 29 million passengers a year.

Why expand

Air travel to Chile has increased exponentially in the past decade. In 2001 Santiago’s international terminal opened its doors and planned to receive 9 million travelers a year, which seemed like a generous estimate at the time.

In 2009 that figure was surpassed, and this year the airport has seen nearly 14 million passengers.

About the new terminal

For months the Public Works Ministry (MOP) with the help of Armed Forces and the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) have been working on plans for the new airport terminal which they announced in October.

By its completion in 2019 the terminal will “have three times the capacity as before,” MOP director, María Isabel Castillo told La Tercera. The existing airport terminal will then be used for domestic flights, designating the newly completed terminal for those to international destinations.

The new construction will be built on the site of the current airport parking lots, and will have four different check in points, 104-178 check-in counters, 24-56 passport control desks, and 44-66 immigration points.

With an eye towards the future, the team thinks that this capacity will be sufficient until 2030,  a year in which they have already planned for another construction project that will enable 50 million travelers a year.

In the short term, 2013 will see an expansion of the current airport terminal in which 29,527 square feet (9,000 square meters) will be designated for a larger international arrivals section as well as more space for the International Police.

Bidding for businesses interested in construction of the new terminal will begin in June of 2013. In 2014 the definitive plans will be set, and by September of 2015, construction will be underway.