Bizav Guide to COPA 2015 in Chile – Part 1: Airports & Services

PT 3 M minute read
Bizav Guide to COPA 2015 in Chile – Part 1: Airports & Services

This is a post by author Mariana Tsymbalista. Mariana is the FBO Assistant at Aviasur, a Universal Aviation® Certified ground handler, which has an FBO in Santiago, Chile and provides ground support throughout the country. Mariana is an expert on business aircraft operations in Chile and can be contacted at

This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operations to Chile for COPA 2015.

COPA America is the main international football tournament for national teams in South America. This year COPA takes place in eight different cities in Chile from June 11 – July 4. In addition to drawing in football teams from 12 nations, this event attracts attendees from all over the world. It’s recommended that general aviation (GA) operators begin the planning process, without delay, if they intend to operate to Chile during this busy period.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. COPA 2015 basics

This sporting event takes place at nine different stadiums in eight different cities with the finals being held in Santiago. Participating teams will represent Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

2. Host cities and airports

The eight host cities and corresponding airports are:

3. Picking a primary airport

It’s recommended that operators use SCEL as their primary airport for COPA 2015 as parking availability is good, with full GA support services and ground support equipment (GSE) at hand. Every fixed-base operator (FBO) at SCEL has its own parking area, and there’s also a general area available for additional parking that’s controlled by the airport.

4. Parking restrictions

We expect GA parking restrictions to be imposed at SCSE, SCVM and SCQP. If restrictions go into effect, you’ll be able to operate in as an international arrival, and reposition to a different airport for the duration of your stay.

5. Parking and slot coordination

Your parking request must be done separately from your airport slot request – either before or after you apply for airport slots. Note that in Chile an approved airport slot does not confirm parking. Parking for each airport must always be confirmed by the local Active Clearance Center (ACC).

6. Off-airport services

During COPA 2015 there’s a possibility that hotel accommodations, as well as rental car options, will be overbooked and not available. Our recommendation is to make necessary accommodation and local transport arrangements as early as possible. In the case of hotels, preferred accommodation availability will be scarce, and crew rooms at 4-star hotels may run from 300-500 USD per night. Hotel availability will be a particular issue at smaller destinations in Chile during this period.

In terms of local transport options, public transportation (taxis and subways) is good in larger cities, but there are fewer options at smaller locations. Rental cars are a viable option in Chile as there is adequate road signage (often in English as well). Drive times between airports in Chile and the applicable city center are typically 20-30 minutes, except in the case of SCFA where drive time is about 10 minutes longer.

7. Fuel uplifts

Jet A-1 availability in Chile is not an issue with the exception of SCVM where no fuel is available. Larger airports have different fueling companies available, but you’ll have fewer fuel options at smaller locations. It’s always recommended to carry a fuel release and to forward this in advance to both the fueler and your ground handler.

8. In-flight catering options

While in-flight caterers are available at SCEL, you’ll normally source catering from restaurants and hotels at other airport locations. Your ground handler will assist with these requests, as well as with bringing catering through security and out to your aircraft.

9. Additional reading: COPA 2015 – Series Index

Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.


As the event is taking place in June, it’s recommended that requests for hotels and transportation be made as soon as possible. Note that parking will likely not be an issue for SCEL, but smaller airfields may experience issues requiring operators to reposition other airfields for overnight parking.

Stay tuned for Part 2, which covers landing permit and airport slot information for your trip to COPA 215 in Chile.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your trip to Chile, contact me at

COPA 2015 is a trademark of the South American Football Confederation, CONMEBOL. Universal is not in any way affiliated with the South American Football Confederation, CONMEBOL.

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