Chilean Public Works minister Laurence Golborne announced this week a 500 million dollars plan to revamp Santiago’s air terminal to address the ever growing number of national and international passengers.
“We missed the target, the airport has outgrown all our estimates: it was built to host ten million passengers annually and in 2008 we had already reached nine million” said Golborne.
The minister said that the works, in several phases, will enable the Santiago terminal to manage an annual traffic of 24 million passengers, “which is double the current capacity”.
For the long term Chilean authorities are working in a pre-draft which will help define what works need be built for the new concession of Chile’s main air terminal.
Those works must include a new passenger terminal, parking lots and expanded capacity for aircraft, among other improvements, which should be executed by the next concessionaire and operational by 2017.
Total investment is estimated in 500 million dollars but in the mid term also envisages improvements which will enable to better current airport services.
This first stage expansion should be ready by 2013 and will enable to take advantage of the under used spaces at the Santiago air terminal.
This includes increasing the area and boxes for passport, security, customs and sanitary controls plus expansion of the arrival building and a more agile integral system for the management of luggage
These improvements will be done by the current airport operator in exchange for extending the concession until 2015.
“No more patches, no more having to solve problems when they are imminent” said the Chilean minister clearly indicating that it had taken too long to decide the expansion of the over grown capacity of Santiago’s air terminal.