What You Didn’t Know about South American Airports

19 January 2010 (Last Updated January 19th, 2010 18:30)

A look at the quirkier sides of South America's airport industry and some of the region's biggest projects.

What You Didn’t Know about South American Airports

South America's airport industry is on the rise with a number of international tournaments in the coming years ensuring investment into their expansion like never before. Below we reveal some of the more unusual facts about the airports that call South America home and reveal some details about the work taking place.

South American air: facts and figures

There are about 2,500 airports in Brazil, including landing fields: the second-largest number in the world, after the US.

Teniente General Benjamín Matienzo International Airport in Argentina has an influx of cargo traffic every September to November when it is used to transport fresh fruit to the US.

The busiest airport in Latin America is Colombia's El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá. Because of Colombia's central location, it ranks top in the number of flights and weight of goods transported.

"There are about 2,500 airports in Brazil, including landing fields."

In Guyana, situated in South America's northern districts, there is only one international airport, Cheddi Jagan International Airport, and one regional facility, Ogle Airport.

La Florida Airport in the Chilean city of La Serena is the only airport with a runway that runs west to east. Most run north to south because of the shape of the country.

Bolivia's Jórge Wilstermann International Airport sits 8,360ft (2,548m) above mean sea level and Peru's Cuzco Alejandro Velazco Astete airport is even higher, located 3,248m above mean sea level.

Shaping the future for South American air travel

Brazil's Galeão - Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport will undergo an investment of $268m for an upgrade to be completed in 2011, ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, both to be held in Brazil.

"Brazil's Galeão - Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport will undergo an investment of $268m."

Jorge Chávez International Airport in Peru announced in August 2009 that it will receive the new ILS CAT III this year because of the severe fog Lima suffers from.

Mariscal Sucre International Airport was built in 1960 to serve Equador's capital Quito. As it is surrounded by urban developments, in October 2010 it will be replaced by a brand new airport at a cost of $585m.

The new terminal at Carrasco International Airport in Uraguay, which opened in December 2009, was designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects and has undulating curves to mimic the country's landscape.

Work being carried out at Ministro Pistarini International Airport in the Argentine city of Buenos Aires is being scheduled ahead of the May Revolution bicentennial anniversary, which commemorates the political activities that led to the Argentine War of Independence. Planned improvements include a new passenger terminal, control tower and a fourth runway.