Costa Rica to Invest $157 Million in Airport Infrastructure


Plane landing at the airstrip in Quepos after a short flight from San Jose, Costa Rica.

At a press conference held at Juan Santamaría Airport on Friday, August 16, 2019, Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado announced plans to invest over CRC90 billion (USD $157.3 million) to modernize airport infrastructure across the island nation from 2019 through 2020.

To that effect, the president has implemented an official act sanctioned by both the Civil Aviation Technical Council (CETAC) and the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC), which will be investing their own resources into the projects. Additional support is expected to come from private sector investors, including airport operations administrator AERIS.

Authorities believe that the initiative will boost the economy at the local and national levels, generating jobs, and encouraging tourism. In a tweet, Alvarado declared, “More investment, more tourism, more employment.”

Improvements will center around, “customer service, resource optimization, continuous improvement and innovation,” Director General of Civil Aviation, Guillermo Hoppe explained in a press release. By enhancing connectivity between regions, as well as internationally, officials believe the enhancements will motivate increased trade and production.

Funds are being allocated to four international airports (Juan Santamaría, Daniel Oduber, Tobías Bolaños and Limón) and eight local airfields (Palmar Sur, Golfito, Pérez Zeledón, Guápiles, Quepos, Tortuguero, Coto 47 and Puerto Jiménez), located in all different areas of the country.

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Costa Rica’s main airport, Juan Santamaría International, which serves the capital city of San Jose, is to undergo mixed investment projects to upgrade taxiways, track-lighting systems and passenger boarding areas, extend the head runway and expand its terminal to the west.

The Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport will improve the surfaces of its runway ring and platform, demarcation lines, security strips and surrounding streets. An environmental impact study will be conducted prior to expansion of the air side of the airport, the perimeter enclosure, roads and other accessways.

Tobías Bolaños International Airport will build a brand-new air terminal; restructure the entire Alfa, Bravo and Charlie taxiways; install a new drinking water network, as well as a sewage and wastewater treatment plant; a new electricity and data network; a new fire-hydrant network and construct a new general parking area.

Limón International Airport will receive a new, Caribbean-inspired terminal with a waiting area, government offices, fire protection, passenger flow system, and rainwater, sewage and wastewater treatment systems.