Two in race for Chilean airport tender

The project calls for a new terminal, airport roads, parking and aircraft facilities to be built at BioBio’s alternative airport.

As the first 15-year concession for the Carriel Sur Airport in Concepcion is nearing its end, the Chilean government has received two bids for the follow-on contract. 

Chile's Ministry of Public Works is seeking a partner to further develop the airport and its supporting infrastructure. The current 200-month concession is set to terminate on 23 August.

The bids from Consorcio Aeropuertos Asociados and Icafal Inversiones were revealed in a public ceremony by regional director of airports Blas Araneda, who said that the economic proposals from the two bidders will be forthcoming on 28 May.

The 15-year concession calls for the construction of a new two-story terminal building with capacity for up to 2 million passengers per year (from the current 1 million), a new parking garage, improvements to airport service roads, and a new platform for aircraft parking.

The ministry aims to see the terminal building expanded by 3,000 square metres; airplane parking spots raised to seven from the current five; the number of departure gates raised to six; the number of parking spots available to 560 from 400; and the number of service counters to 26 + 10 automatic ticketing machines from the current 18. The number of waiting areas will be raised to six from the current three. Finally, the number of entry and exit passport control gates will be doubled to eight, according to a project presentation. 

Carriel Sur is an alternative for the BioBio region to the Arturo Marino Benitz Airport, which houses larger international aircraft and planes of all sizes in times of adverse weather. The airport was commissioned in 1968 at a ceremony attended by then-President Eduardo Frei Montalva. It is located about 5 kilometres northwest of Concepcion and about 9 kilometres east of Talchuano.