Bizav Guide to COPA 2015 in Chile – Part 3: CIQ, Security and Weather

PT 3 M minute read

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 continues from our article last week, entitled "Bizav Guide to COPA 2015 in Chile – Part 2: Permits, Airport Slots, and Restrictions."

Customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) processing of general aviation (GA) passengers/crew is a relatively quick and straight-forward process in Chile. However, be prepared to clear immigration/customs in the main terminal in almost all cases.

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

1. CIQ considerations

While all the airports in Chile hosting the COPA 2015 games are not normally 24/7 airports of entry (AOE), they all will be by special arrangement during COPA 2015. We expect extended airport and CIQ hours to go into effect several days prior to the start of COPA 2015 and to extend several days after the finals.

2. CIQ clearance

With the exception of Santiago (SCEL), which has fixed-base operators (FBOs) and VIP clearance facilities, it’s normally necessary for passengers and crew to clear at the main terminal. In most cases you’ll clear CIQ in separate lines from scheduled commercial traffic. Plan on up to 20-30 minutes to clear CIQ procedures on arrival in Chile, except in the case of SCEL where clearance usually takes only 5-10 minutes. Note that your clearance will take longer if information on your flight has not been submitted to CIQ authorities in advance.

3. Clearance procedures

Clearance procedure in Chile involves going through an immigration check, where passports and visas (if required) will be verified, before proceeding to customs. Note that when visas are required they must be obtained prior to arrival in Chile. If you arrive without a required visa you will not be permitted into the country. In the case of crew that are listed on the gen dec, no visas are needed for Chile, regardless of nationality. All passengers/crew must fill out and sign forms on arrival for agriculture and customs purposes. Passengers and crew will pass through a metal detector, and customs will inspect luggage—with x-ray equipment at larger airports, or by hand at smaller locations.

4. Cabin disinsection

For international arrivals into Chile, regardless of previous departure point, it’s required to use an approved spray to disinsect the cabin prior to arrival. Ideally, this should be done at top of descent. Alternatively, spraying may be accomplished upon landing. In either case, CIQ will want to confirm that this requirement has been met.

5. Security considerations

All airports in Chile have adequate security – with proper fencing, patrols, surveillance, and airside access controls. Aircraft guards are not usually recommended for operators heading to Chile. When off-airport it’s best to take standard security precautions and to be aware of your surroundings, as with all international destinations. However, personal security risks generally are not considered high in Chile. You may want to consider obtaining a security intelligence report and/or brief in advance, which your 3rd-party provider can usually provide. For more on security planning, see: Security Planning for Business Aviation Travel – Part 1: Pre-Planning.

6. Weather

Always check weather conditions and forecasts before heading to Chile and note that winter in this region runs from June through September. Winter season weather conditions can be more severe, with higher precipitation, at Temuco (SCQP) and Concepcion (SCIE).

7. Additional reading: COPA 2015 – Series Index


As it will be winter season in Chile during COPA America 2015 expect a high probability of rain. For COPA 2015, authorities will make all of the cities hosting the event an AOE which will require fewer stops for operators. Note that the CIQ clearance procedures for Chile are standardized and will require clearing at the main terminal with the exception of SCEL. Ensure that visas when needed are obtained in advance.


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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