Strengthening Chile’s Antarctic Positioning Through APAL

Mar 8, 2023 | News


“We contribute to strengthening Chile’s Antarctic positionining

Companies based in Magallanes, which carry out productive activities in Antarctica, have formed this trade association since 2018.

The trade association Antarctic Punta Arenas Logistics (APAL) set the priorities for its management for the 2023 period at a recent meeting of members.

APAL was formed in 2018 as a trade association of companies based in Magallanes that carry out productive activities in Antarctica (transportation, tourism, logistics and agency of these services) with the aim of, through associativity, contributing to public and private collaboration in the Antarctic continent, transforming the comparative advantages of the region into competitive ones.

Currently, APAL is made up of ten companies: Aerovías DAP, Chile Chips, DAP Mares, Agunsa, Ultramar, ULOG Integral Logistics Solutions, Austral Port Company, Antarctica21, Ian Taylor and Shackleton’s Way. It is expected that in the near future other companies linked to the logistics and tourism industries will join the association.

At the aforementioned meeting of members, it was agreed to continue advocating for greater Antarctic competitiveness. To this end, three fundamental axes of work were set: promoting more infrastructure (public goods), striving for the existence of clear and available regulations for everyone, and having greater availability of public services, essential for continuing with the development of Antarctica for Magallanes.

Nicolás Paulsen, executive director of APAL, comments that the entity has human and technical capabilities -generated in Magallanes- of recognized experience to offer a platform of logistics services, tourism, transportation and maritime agency to Antarctica. “APAL contributes to strengthening Chile’s Antarctic positioning thanks to the experience of many years in Antarctic logistics of important companies in Magallanes, providing support to the national and international operation in Antarctica. In addition, generating opportunities for new businesses, jobs and related ventures,” he emphasizes.

He adds that “as a region we are already the main gateway in the world to the national Antarctic programs of the Treaty Antarctic Member States. We have been able to generate a robust air route with private resources that is used by scientists, members of other states and tourists, and for medical emergencies. This growth has been achieved thanks to the effort of many years of the companies that make up APAL and public institutions such as INACH and our Armed Forces.”

Paulsen points out that the existence of this association reaffirms the important role of the private sector in Antarctic development, with its consequent impact on the strengthening of Chile in that continent. “APAL has strategies to disseminate and promote, in the country and abroad, the logistics services available in the region, thus promoting the development of Magallanes. In summary, our contribution to Antarctic development is wide and in various forms: air transport, Antarctic cruises, logistics, supply, exploration, science and knowledge, diffusion, etc. These capabilities are not only an asset for the Region of Magallanes and Chile, but are also used internationally,” the executive points out.

For her part, Carmen Patiño, manager of APAL, details that, “from a technical point of view, the main challenges of the association for this year and the next are: obtaining a green seal for Punta Arenas and Antarctic tourism; increasing the number of calls of Antarctic expedition cruises in Punta Arenas and Puerto Williams; participating in the preparation of plans that seek to improve the facilities in Teniente Marsh Airport; and disseminating the transit from Punta Arenas to the Antarctic Peninsula by Cook Bay. In terms of social, the main objectives include: promoting awareness and education about Antarctica in the population of Magallanes to encourage greater responsibility and protection of this region; implementing sustainability and conservation measures to ensure the protection of the Antarctic environment; and developing plans and programs to improve the competitiveness and tourist attractiveness of Punta Arenas.”

Finally, Carmen Patiño reports that APAL is promoting, together with the regional government, the organization of an international seminar in Punta Arenas. “This event aims to present the new infrastructure projects of the Magallanes Region related to Antarctic logistics. Among the outstanding projects are the International Antarctic Center in Punta Arenas, the Subantarctic Center and a new port in Williams; improvements in the passenger terminals of the region’s airports and a shorter maritime route from Punta Arenas to Antarctica, among others,” she pointed out.

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