Antártica is a
Chilean commune in Antártica Chilena Province, Magallanes and Antártica Chilena Region, which covers all of the "Territorio Chileno Antárico"—the territory in Antarcticaclaimed by Chile. It ranges from 53°W to 90°W and from the South Poleto 60°S, overlapping the Argentine and British Antarctic claims. It is administered by the Cabo de Hornos municipality in the South American mainland.
Antártica was created on
July 11 1961, and was dependent on the Magallanes Provinceuntil 1975, when the Antártica Chilena Province was created. It was dependent administratively on Puerto Williams, the province capital.
The official population figure for the area, as of the census of 2002, is given as 130 (115 male, 15 female). This does not include the staff of non-Chilean bases in the area. During summer, the population swells to 350.Fact|date=February 2008
Permanent Chilean stations and settlements
The largest population center is located on
King George Islandand consists of Frei Montalva Station, which has an airport ("Teniente Rodolfo Marsh Martin Aerodrome", ICAOCode SCRM [http://gc.kls2.com/airport/SCRM] ), and which is connected to the communal capital, the village of Villa Las Estrellas, which has a town hall, hotel, day-care center, school, scientific equipment, hospital, post office and bank. This enclave is a center of logistical support for the other eight countries with scientific bases on King George Island.
Professor Julio Escudero Base, controlled by the Antarctic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, is the main Chilean scientific facility in Antarctica. Captain Arturo Prat Baseis a small Chilean Antarcticresearch base located on Greenwich Island. Opened February 6, 1947, it is the oldest Chilean Antarctic station. Until March 1, 2006, it was a base of the Chilean Navy, on which date it was handed over to the regional government of Magallanes and Antártica Chilena Region. Until February, 2004, it had been a permanent base. Afterwards, it had served as a summer base of ionospheric and meteorologic research. There have been plans to reopen the station for permanent occupation starting March, 2008.
The only permanent Chilean station on the Antarctic mainland (
Antarctic Peninsula), O'Higgins Station has been in operation since February 18, 1948. It is located on Puerto Covadongaand has previously been the communal capital.
The commune consists of two census districts [ [http://www.ine.cl/canales/chile_estadistico/territorio/division_politico_administrativa/pdf/dpa2001.pdf Territorial division of Chile] ] :
*Piloto Pardo (pop. 111), consisting of the
South Shetland Islandsand named after Luis Pardo, with the communal capital (since Feb. 23, 2004), Villa Las Estrellas.
*Tierra O´Higgins (the Antarctic mainland) (pop. 20), with former communal capital (1961 to 2004)
Puerto Covadonga(O'Higgins Station).
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