20 April 2010
Built at a cost of £108 million, the terminal has capacity for 4.5 million passengers annually and the airport’s operators hope it will become a major hub in the region.
The project was designed by New York-based Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly and represents a milestone for the country in terms of investment, architecture, high quality service, and technological innovation.
In addition to the groundbreaking 32,000-m2 terminal, the airport’s runways have also been extended to 3,200 metres to allow for the operation of larger aircraft.
The improved terminal now has eight arrival and departure gates, four of which have been fitted with telescopic sleeves capable of disembarking passengers from the new Airbus A380 superjumbo.
The new airport, officially known as ‘Aeropuerto Internacional de Carrasco General Cesareo L. Berisson’, is located 18 km from Uraguay’s capital city, Montevideo, and the project’s architect is confident of the new facility’s role as the symbolic gateway to the country.
"In Uruguay, friends and family still come to greet you at the airport or see you off, so this terminal provides great spaces for the people who aren’t travelling as well as those who are. The atrium, the main hall, the terrace, and the passenger concourse make this a dramatic and welcoming place for everyone," Viñoly said.
Carrasco International is the only airport in the country that provides year-round international connections and the expanded capacity is set to spur commercial growth and tourism in the region.