Chile detects 450-day delay in US$650mn airport expansion

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Chile's concessions panel detected that the expansion of Santiago's Arturo Merino Benítez international airport is 458 days behind schedule, mostly due to delays in the public works ministry (MOP) reviewing the engineering plans presented by concessionaire Nuevo Pudahuel.

MOP caused a 425-day delay when reviewing and approving the definitive engineering project (PID) for the US$650mn expansion, the panel said in a document dated August 29 but released to the public on September 3.

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Nuevo Pudahuel caused a 33-day delay in presenting the PID, said the panel in its conclusions on a discrepancy presented by the concessionaire in June.

However, the panel said that it does not have enough information to determine the impact of the delays on construction and did not rule on a deadline extension requested by the concessionaire.

Instead, the panel recommended a technical audit to evaluate the interaction between MOP and Nuevo Pudahuel in order to establish the real impact of the delays on construction.

In July, Nuevo Pudahuel paused the discrepancy process for 25 days shortly after the concessionaire and MOP set a technical table to speed up the expansion works.

A spokesperson for the concessionaire declined to comment, arguing that the process "is still open."

The project involves building a new 175,000m2 terminal, expanding the existing passenger terminal from 110,000m2 to 119,000m2 and enlarging the parking lot, among other works.