Sebastián Piñera, President of the Republic of Chile, inaugurated the new terminal at Santiago De Chile Airport on February 26.

The new 248,400 sq.m terminal has an increased capacity of 38 million travellers per year and welcomed its first passengers on February 28.

Also present at the official opening of the most modern international hub in South America was Xavier Lortat-Jacob, general manager of Nuevo Pudahuel consortium, a partnership involving Groupe ADP, VINCI Airports and Astaldi Concessioni, which has operated the airport under a 20-year concession since February 2015. The investment $990m to improve air connectivity is a long-term commitment to Chile’s economic growth.

With this new terminal, waiting times will be reduced considerably because of 96 automatic check-in kiosks, 64 bag drop counters, 40% more immigration counters for borders controls, and a new baggage handling system. The terminal also includes new commercial, dining and services areas, such as a nursery room and an exhibition hall.

Santiago De Chile is also one of the first airports in South America to join Level 2 of the Airport Carbon Accreditation delivered by Airports Council International. More than 10,000 airport LED lights have reduced lighting energy consumption by 70%. Emissions from land transport have also been reduced thanks to six new electric buses that entered service last July. More than seven hectares have been reforested on the airport ground and more than 600 trees have been donated to the municipality of Pudahuel. The commissioning of a photovoltaic plant with a capacity of 826KW on the roof of the existing terminal will help reduce the airport’s carbon footprint by 40% in 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.