Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport
Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport "AMBIA" , also known as Pudahuel Airport and Santiago International Airport, located in Pudahuel, Santiago, Region Metropolitana is Chile's largest aviation facility. It served 9,017,718 passengers in 2008.
The airport was built between 1961 and 1967 and was originally called Aeropuerto Internacional Pudahuel; it replaced Los Cerrillos Airport.
The name of the airport was subsequently rechristened in honor of the founder of the Chilean Air Force: Arturo Merino Benitez during the 1970s.
The facility was expanded in 1994 with a new international terminal. This expansion added jetways, a duty-free zone, hotel, and greater parking.
In 2002 a new terminal opened; construction on Runway 17R/35L began in 2004 and opened to traffic in September 2005. However, within months defects were discovered and the runway required repairing, completed in January 2006. Unfortunately further study of the problem discovered that the repairs were insufficient. The runways were declared useless due to their poor surface and resistance defects. 28-year-old Runway 17L/35R in contrast only required repairing once, in 2005. Additionally the runway's approach system was deficient and lacked the ILS Category III approach system used for low visibility; that is used by the older runway. The runway was rebuilt beginning in February 2007 and reopened for traffic in March.
The airport's international terminal suffered damage after the February 27, 2010 earthquake, but the runways were unharmed. Full operation resumed on March 3, 2010. Business Travel, "Aeroport de Santiago au Chili: retour a la normale mercredi", 2 March 2010 (accessed 3 March 2010)
Accidents and Incidents
No airline disasters have occurred at the site. However in 1972 a chartered flight by an Uruguayan rugby team crashed into the Chilean Andes while en route to SCL. Furthermore on October 2, 1996, flight 603, an AeroPeru Boeing 757 crashed into the Pacific Ocean before its arrival from Lima, Peru's Jorge Chavez International Airport, killing all on board.
Terminals, airlines and destinations
There is an international terminal (I), with 10 gates and a smaller domestic terminal (D) with 7 gates (numbered 21-27).
VIP services are offered in both terminals of the airport. The operators are: LAN Airlines with the Neruda Lounge and the Mistral Lounge, American Airlines (Admirals Club), and the SkyTeam alliance; in addition to the unaffiliated lounges.
Centurion Air Cargo
Florida West International Airways
External linksOfficial web site (English)
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