Carrasco International Airport was initially inaugurated in 1947 and in 2009, Puerta del Sur, the airport owner and operator, with an investment of $165 million, commissioned Rafael Viñoly Architects to expand and modernize the existing facilities with a spacious new passenger terminal to increase capacity and spur commercial growth and tourism in the region. The London-based magazine Frontier chose the Carrasco International Airport, serving Montevideo, as one of the best four airports in the world in its 27th edition. The airport can handle up to 4.5 million users per year. PLUNA was the flag carrier of Uruguay, and was headquartered in Carrasco.
The Punta del Este International Airport, located 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Punta del Este in the Maldonado Department, is the second busiest air terminal in Uruguay, built by the Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott it was inaugurated in 1997.
The Administración de Ferrocarriles del Estado is the autonomous agency in charge of rail transport and the maintenance of the railroad network. Uruguay has about 1,200 km (750 mi) of operational railroad track. Until 1947, about 90% of the railroad system was British-owned. In 1949, the government nationalized the railways, along with the electric trams and the Montevideo Waterworks Company. However, in 1985 the “National Transport Plan” suggested passenger trains were too costly to repair and maintain. Cargo trains would continue for loads more than 120 tons, but bus transportation became the “economic” alternative for travelers. Passenger service was then discontinued in 1988. However, rail passenger commuter service into Montevideo was restarted in 1993, and now comprises three suburban lines.
The country has several international bus services connecting the capital and frontier localities to neighboring countries. Namely, 17 destinations in Argentina; 12 destinations in Brazil and the capital cities of Chile and Paraguay.
Flag of Uruguay:
The national flag of Uruguay is one of the three official flags of Uruguay along with the flag of Artigas and the flag of the Treinta y Tres. It has a field of nine equal horizontal stripes alternating white and blue. The canton is white, charged with the Sun of May, from which 16 rays extend, alternating between triangular and wavy. The flag was first adopted by law on December 16, 1828, and had 19 stripes until July 11, 1830, when a new law reduced the number of stripes to nine. The flag was designed by Joaquín Suárez.
The horizontal stripes on the flag represent the nine original departments of Uruguay, based on the U.S. flag, where the stripes represent the original 13 colonies. The first flag designed in 1828 had 9 light blue stripes; this number was reduced to 4 in 1830 due to visibility problems from distance.
The golden Sun of May represents the May Revolution of 1810; the Sun of May is a figurative sun that represents Inti, the sun god and mythological founder of the Incan Empire. It also appears in the Flag of Argentina and the Coat of Arms of Bolivia.