Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport, also known as Santiago International Airport and Nuevo Pudahuel Airport, is Chile’s largest aviation facility and the busiest international airport in the country. In 2016 it handled over 19 million passengers.
The airport is the main hub for most local airlines such as LATAM and Sky Airline.
The demands of the growing metropolitan area of Santiago and the need for modern, jet-era airport facilities, drove the need to relocate the Chilean capital’s principal airport from Los Cerrillos Airport in the denser southwest metropolitan region of Santiago to the more rural northwest metropolitan area. The construction of the new airport commenced in 1961. In 1967, the airport was commissioned Aeropuerto Internacional de Pudahuel, due to its location in the municipality of Pudahuel. In 1980, the airport was rechristened Air Commodore Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport in honour of the founder of the Chilean Air Force and Chilean carrier LATAM Chile.