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El Tepual Airport

El Tepual Airport

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El Tepual International Airport is a commercial and private aviation facility which serves the touristic
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 area of Puerto Montt
Puerto Montt
Puerto Montt is a port city and commune in southern Chile, located at the northern end of the Reloncaví Sound in the Llanquihue Province, Los Lagos Region. The commune spans an area of and had a population of 175,938 in 2002. It is located 1,055 km to the south of the capital, Santiago...

, Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...



Located at the center of Northern Patagonia and near the Archaeological site of Monte Verde
Monte Verde
Monte Verde is an archaeological site in southern Chile, located in the northern Patagonia near Puerto Montt, Chile, which has been dated to 14,800 years BP . This dating adds to the evidence showing that settlement in the Americas pre-dates the Clovis culture by roughly 1000 years...

 .The construction of the runway at El Tepual airport was completed in April 1960, and became the site of a great airlift after the a magnitude 9.5 earthquake hit the area on May 22, 1960. The airport with its original terminal was officially inaugurated in 1963. After Augusto Pinochet
Augusto Pinochet
Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte, more commonly known as Augusto Pinochet , was a Chilean army general and dictator who assumed power in a coup d'état on 11 September 1973...

 left Chile's Presidency, a plan was put on the run by the new government to make new airport terminals and freeways across the country, so that Chile's smaller cities could have better connections with Santiago
Santiago, Chile
Santiago , also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile, and the center of its largest conurbation . It is located in the country's central valley, at an elevation of above mean sea level...

. Puerto Montt, along with Calama and other small areas, were among the most benefitted places out of the number of Chilean cities listed on the project.

Puerto Montt had proved to be a popular tourist resort, and, during the early 1990s, the numbers of international tourists (specially those from neighboring countries such as Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

) grew considerably. In 1995, the new airport terminal finally opened, with Lan Chile as the largest airline
An airline provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines lease or own their aircraft with which to supply these services and may form partnerships or alliances with other airlines for mutual benefit...

 company flying there.

LAN Airlines
LAN Airlines
LAN Airlines S.A. is an airline based in Santiago, Chile. LAN is currently positioned amongst the largest airlines in Latin America, serving Latin America, United States, the Caribbean, Oceania, and Europe. It is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance...

, as Lan Chile is currently known, has kept on operating services regularly at the airport along with more recent startups such as Sky Airline
Sky Airline
Sky Airline is an airline based at Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport in Santiago, Chile. It is the second largest airline in the country behind rival LAN Airlines, and mostly relies on domestic services.- History :...

, with a number of charter airlines also flying to El Tepual.

El Tepual is owned by a number of international companies, headed by Chile's IDC,or Administracion de Concesiones. In 1998, IDC agreed to operate the airport for twelve more years, which would make El Tepual their property until 2010.

A new terminal was inaugurated in February 2010, having increased the number of jetways from 2 to 5, as well as improving the check-in area, baggage claim, airport security, heating system and other airport facilities as well as significantly enlarging the parking lot.


The airport has five jetways (also called airplane tunnel), 4 domestic gates (numbered 1 - 4) and one international gate (gate number 5, still not in operation).

The airport has a restaurant, a massage facility, immigration offices and areas for disabled persons, among other facilities.


El Tepual airport can only cater to airplanes with the size of a Boeing 707
Boeing 707
The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

 or smaller. Boeing 737
Boeing 737
The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

s, Airbus 318s, Airbus 319s and Airbus 320s are particularly prominent among airplanes that fly to the airport.

In 2004, the IDC estimated that one million passengers passed through the airport's gates, making it Chile's second busiest. IDC expects that total to rise to four million passengers by 2010.

Airlines and destinations

Charter operations

A large number of different airlines operate off-regular schedule service into El Tepual. These are usually hired by tour agents or companies. These include such airlines as ATS Aerotaxis del Sur, Archipiélagos Aviación, AeroCord, Raúl Atala EIRL, Transportes Aéreos San Rafael and Pewén among others.

Accidents and incidents

  • On 5 December 1969, Douglas C-47A CC-CBY of LAN Chile crashed on take-off. The aircraft was operating a cargo flight, all three people on board survived.

External links