Information and Travel Guide for Santiago Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport Santiago Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport (SCL)
Santiago International Airport, also referred to as the Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport, is located 9.3 miles of downtown Santiago. In 2010 the airport took on over 11 million passengers and is expected to take on many more in 2012. The Santiago Airport is considered the largest and busiest in Chile and the ninth busiest airport in Latin America.
Initially the Santiago International Airport was created to meet the growing demands of Santiago's metropolitan area. With a population growing and the need for a better airport apparent, the Santiago International Airport was constructed in 1961. In 1967, the airport was commissioned to be called the Aeropuerto Internacional de Pudahuel because of its location in reference to Pudahuel. The airport expanded in 1994 to create a new international terminal that would take on additional passengers for international flights and in 2008 the airport reached its maximum capacity of 9.5 million passengers per year. Unfortunately, this maximum capacity was reached two years before expected, which required another expansion.
Services and Amenities
Like most airports, the Arturo Merino Benitez Airport offers travellers the convenience of shopping, food, music, Internet, dentist, medical center, cafes, and bistros. The facility also offers coffee shops, popular brand shopping and other amenities that include:
Wi-Fi at the local cafes
Over 70 retail shops
Fast-food, sit-down restaurants, coffee shops and bistros
Laptop charging stations
ATMs and currency exchange offices
Lost luggage pickups and luggage storage
Lifts from the airport will take travellers to short and long-term parking facilities. There is a free bus that takes travellers between the different airport parking lots and the express parking is convenient for those who want to book a parking spot ahead of time.
The facilities do have cosmetic and technical issues since the earthquake in 2010. Therefore some facilities are constantly out of order and some custom checkpoints will require longer wait times due to limited office space and staff. Once construction is complete passengers will enjoy shorter wait times, but until then travellers are encouraged to arrive at least two hours prior to departure and expect delays when entering the country.
Once out of the airport, travellers should take advantage of the busses that drive to and from the airport regularly. Travellers are encouraged to get a Multivia pass at a discounted rate if they will be in town longer than a day. Though rental cars are available, traffic is heinous and travelers are encouraged to avoid trying to drive down busy streets and navigate confusing street signs in the area.
Travellers can visit local attractions that include:
The Andes Mountains
Plaza de Armas
Chile's Presidential home
The coast of Valpo
IATA Code: SCL Location: 11 miles NW of Santiago, Chile Telephone: +56 (0)2 690 1900/1752/3 Address: Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport, Casilla 79 Correo Aeropuerto Internacional, Santiago, Chile Number of Terminals: 2 Website: www.aeropuertosantiago.cl Time Zone: GMT - 4 (GMT - 3 from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October)