The original passenger terminal, which is now the cargo terminal, was inaugurated in 1947.
In 2003 the Uruguayan government transferred the administration, operation and maintenance of the airport to the private investment group Puerta del Sur S.A, which since then invested in several upgrades of the airport.
On 3 February 2007, construction began on a new and modern terminal that is located parallel to Runway 06/24. The new terminal, designed by Uruguayan born architect Rafael Viñoly, has the capacity to handle 3 million passengers a year, including a much larger parking area built for over 1200 vehicles. This new terminal building has four jetways, separate floors for arrivals and departures and a large viewing area on the top floor. The terminal has room for expansion for two additional jetways and a maximum capacity of 6 million passengers per year before the building would need actual enlargement. The new terminal was inaugurated on 5 October 2009 with official operations beginning on 29 December 2009. A new US$15 million cargo terminal was also constructed.
Runway 06/24 has been strengthened and lengthened to 3,200 metres (10,499 ft), which allows airlines to operate non-stop flights to the U.S.A. and Europe. Runway 01/19 was lengthened to 2,250 metres (7,382 ft) and the former Runway 10/28 (rarely ever used) is permanently closed because the new terminal cuts across it.
The airport is located 19 km (12 mi) from downtown Montevideo. There are three bus companies and several private taxi and remise services connecting the airport with Montevideo as well as with Punta del Este. The trip time to Montevideo by car is approximately 20 minutes, while by bus it is 1 hour and 15 minutes. The cost of the trip depends on the destination point and is arranged in the airport or booked online.
18 September 1957: a Real Transportes AéreosConvair 440-62 registration PP-AQE belonging to Transportes Aéreos Nacional, flying from Porto Alegre to Montevideo had an accident during touch down operations in Montevideo. While on a night landing procedure under fog, the aircraft undershot the runway by 1,030m, causing the left and middle gear to hit an earth bank bordering a highway. The right wing touched the ground and further on the aircraft lost both propellers. The right wing then broke off. One crew member died.