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AMB master plan expected to double capacity, but no mention of traffic - Bombardier

Bnamericas Published: Friday, November 16, 2012
The proposed plan to expand Chilean capital Santiago's Arturo Merino Benítez (AMB) international airport does not include an expansion of the airport's access roads or transport alternatives, according to David Fussel, regional director of sales and business development at Canada's Bombardier. "They are doubling AMB's capacity and yet, they are not doubling the traffic capacity for cars or buses [going in and out of the airport]," Fussel told BNamericas. Last month, the public works ministry ( MOP) unveiled the new master plan for AMB, with the goal to serve 29mn passengers by 2030 and 50mn passengers by 2045. The project envisions construction of a new terminal, new taxiways and the expansion of the existing ramp, with US$700mn in planned investment via a 15-year concession. MOP expects to launch the tender for the project next year. "You have this paradox in which they are expanding the airport's capacity but there's no expansion of access alternatives," Fussel noted. METRO ACCESS Despite these reservations, MOP officials have said the new master plan includes reserving a stretch of land for the day in which Santiago's subway Metro is expected to arrive. The plan also includes construction of up to three metro stations, one multimodal station outside the airport's facilities, and two inside to connect the terminals. Fussel noted that expanding Metro services to the airport via an underground tunnel could prove expensive, as there's 10km separating the subway's line 1 current terminal station with the airport facilities, as well as the fact that the nature of subway passengers could also be challenging. "The profile of passengers going in and out of the airport is different from the ones that use [Metro's] subway network everyday. It is a complicated subject." "I think you need a macro project, one with a vision for the future, with a vision for the city. We already have problems in this city with Metro's current network. Line 1 is overcrowded, and there have been talks about having a line running parallel [to line 1]. Maybe that's a good idea, to go through areas that are not currently served by the existing mass transport network."

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