Carriel Sur International Airport (IATA: CCP, ICAO: SCIE) is located in Concepción, in the Bío Bío Region, approximately 500 kilometres (310 mi) southwest of Santiago. It is the second largest airport in Chile and serves domestic traffic for LAN Airlines and Sky Airline. Due to its close proximity to Arturo Merino Benitez it also serves as a primary alternate airport for it, usually receiving international traffic from Santiago as the airport closes due to weather.
Although plans of building an airport near Concepción date back to 1954, construction began only in 1960, shortly after the May 22nd earthquake, as it became imperative to count with a modern airport to link Chile's south-central region with the rest of the country. The airport was finally opened to the public on January 3, 1968. No airline accidents have been recorded in relation with the airport, although bird ingestions during takeoff have occurred causing rejected takeoffs or emergency returns from departing aircraft. No casualties derived from such bird ingestions have been recorded.
In 2000, the original terminal building was decommissioned and turned over to the aviation authority for administrative use. A new terminal, operated by AEROSUR S.A., was opened north of the latter allowing the installation of jetways(4), Customs and Immigration service, a VIP lounge and a duty-free store. The old ramp was not decommissioned, thus the amount of parking spaces increased from 5 to 10 (the original 5 plus 4 jetways and one remote parking adjacent to jetway 4)
Despite being the second most important airport in Chile, Carriel Sur does not count with radar service for approach/departure control. This service is provided using non-radar protocols, in coordination with Santiago's Area Control Center. Carriel Sur's control tower provides ground, tower and approach services on a 24-hour basis and is staffed by three air traffic controllers at all times. The airport has several navigation aids:
Category I ILS, runway 02. Localizer frequency 109.90 MHz, designator I-CEP
High-Altitude Doppler VOR with DME equipment, for non-precision approaches to both runways. Frequency 114.30 MHz, designator CAR.
Non-directional beacon/Localizer Outer Marker, located 5 nautical miles (9 km) south of runway 02's thereshold.
Marker beacon/Localizer middle marker, located one-half mile (1 km) south of runway 02's thereshold.