SANTIAGO – Santiago’s Nuevo Pudahuel airport opened a new international arrivals area on Thursday in an effort to end solicitations by illegal taxi drivers, who overcharge tourists flying into Chile’s capital, airport managers said.
The international airport expects a record year, with 21 million passengers using the facility.
The large number of travelers passing through Nuevo Pudahuel has encouraged more unauthorized drivers to offer illegal transportation services to foreign visitors.
Airport operators said they have received scores of complaints about overcharging and expect the infrastructure changes to help control a long-time problem at the terminal.
As they leave the customs and immigration offices, visitors will be able to arrange for transportation before entering a $432,000 arrivals area added to the facility.
The new area has two mural sculptures layered in Chilean copper, a metal with anti-microbial properties, greeting tourists.
The artistic enhancement was inspired by the Andes mountains and famous verses by Chilean poets, such as Gabriela Mistral’s “Dame la mano,” Nicanor Parra’s “El Hombre Imaginario” and Pablo Neruda’s “La Oda al Cardillo de congrio.”
The piece was created by the gt2P architectural and design studio, which received the 2018 Design Award from the Culture and Arts Ministry in the excellence and innovation category on Thursday.
Mining Minister Aurora Williams; Nuevo Pudahuel manager Nicolas Claude; Procobre executive director Marcos Sepulveda; and airport police officers attended the inauguration of the new arrivals area.
An estimated 33,000 passengers pass through the Santiago international airport in the summer, which is starting in the South American country.