Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez) (IATA: SCL, ICAO: SCEL), also known as Santiago International Airport and Pudahuel Airport, located in Pudahuel, 15 km (9.3 mi) north-west of downtown Santiago, is Chile's largest aviation facility and the busiest international airport in the country.
Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport has domestic and international services to destinations in Europe, Oceania and the Americas. In 2011 it was the ninth busiest airport in Latin America and the sixth busiest in South America by passenger traffic. It was the seventh busiest airport in Latin America by aircraft movements, serving 124,799 operations. Its location in Chile's most populated area, as well as in the central part of the country makes of it an ideal main hub and maintenance center for most local airlines such as LATAM and Sky Airline. LATAM Airlines accounts for approximately 82% of the airport's total commercial operations.
The airport is owned by the Chilean State and has been operated since October 2015 by Nuevo Pudahuel, a consortium of companies formed by Aéroports de Paris (France), Vinci (France) and Astaldi (Italy). The Air traffic control is handled by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (Chile).
Its ICAO category is 4E. The airport functions as a joint civil-military facility. It is the headquarters of the Chilean Air Force 2nd Air Brigade and where its 10th Aviation Group is based.
Santiago International is the longest non-stop destination for most European carriers including Iberia, Air France, Alitalia and British Airways from their respective hubs in Madrid-Barajas Airport, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Rome-Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport and London-Heathrow Airport.
The airport is also South America's main gateway to Australia and New Zealand. The Sydney–Santiago non-stop flight operated by Qantas on a Boeing 747-400ER covers the world's longest over-the-sea distance flown by a commercial airline.
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