Buenos Aires' downtown airport gets upgrade cash

Madrid
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Argentina's transport minister Nicolas Gallo has given the Government's go-ahead for a $150 million package of improvements for Buenos Aires' downtown airport Aeroparque Jorge Newbery.

Though this funding was part of the original investment plan of airport operator, Aeropuertos Argentinos 2000, it had been put on hold after the fatal runway overrun of a LAPA Boeing 737 just a year ago - an incident which has put the whole future of the airport in doubt.

Gallo says that while the go ahead for the extension work has been granted, it is not a decision about the possible future closure of the airport within around 6 years, as the work includes measures which are necessary just in accommodating the 400 daily flights.

The improvements will see the runway extended by an additional 150m length at the north end and widened by an extra 5m.

Other measures include a new control tower, more and improved taxiways and a remodelling of the terminal building. The plan also calls for the removal of a petrol station located on the runway extended centreline outside the airport perimeter.