Nubasa, a new Airport for Santiago
Chile will celebrate the Independence bicentennial anniversary. Under many projects associated to this, Government authorities has decided to close "Los Cerrillos" (ULC/SCTI), first international airport of Santiago and currently secondary airport after Pudahuel (SCL). This closure will be in June 2005, and the field will be used for building a neighborhood.
Photo © Jim Newton
Photo © Antonio Beghello
Los Cerrillos handles domestic light traffic, but it can receive large aircrafts, and this is the venue for FIDAE, the most important Aviation Exhibition of Latin America. Since ULC will be closed, an alternative for SCL is required. At first, the second runway of SCL (currently in construction) was supposed to be enough, although all aeronauticals claimed that this idea was ridiculous, since a second runway will not duplicate operations. Since FIDAE was left with no venue, SCL will host it in 2006.
Besides, Los Cerrillos receive a lot of traffic when Santiago host big events, as will happen this November with APEC Summit Chile 2004: about 500 flights will be detoured to ULC.
But, now all the people agree that a second airport is required. The first project was the "Mistral/San Gregorio" Airport, intended to be located in Buin, 40 kms southern Santiago. This project has faced a lot of protest due to environment issues.
So, the Aeronautical Authorities decided to play a role in the issue and has created the Nubasa project, that should become a real alternative for SCL (projected to reach its full capacity in 2036), and handle domestic traffic. The project now is looking for a place to build it; Santiago is located in a valley surrounded by 2 mountain ranges (Andes and Coast) and 2 transversal, so all approach must be done in north-south direction. Nubasa is projected for 300 ha.
See the map:
SCL recovers traffic
After several years of constriction, SCL traffic shows that the crisis is behind. During first semester 2004, International movement grew 10%, and domestic 4% (domestic was the most contracted)
International Destination Ranking:
Domestic Destination Ranking:
Lan Express: 70%
Sky Airlines: 17%
Lan Chile: 11,7%
Aerovias Dap: 1%
Lan Chile: 54%
Aerolineas Argentinas: 7%
American Airlines: 6%