A failure in the system used by the immigration service (Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería) to control passengers leaving the country generated delays in flights and long lines at both the Juan Santamaria, in San Jose (SJO) and Daniel Oduber, in Liberia (LIR), international airports.

In Liberia, 12 flights were delayed, while in San Jose, the airport manager, Aeris, only reported long lines.

The immigration service in a statement at 5:00 pm Wednesday confirmed a system failure had occurred between 12:25 pm and 12:55 pm, peak hours at both airports.

Nicolás Meza, manager of operations at Coriport, the company that manages the Liberia airport, said this is the third time there has been a system failure since September when the immigration service upgraded its software.

The lines at the Liberia airport on Wednesday afternoon when the immigration record control failed for more than 30 minutes during the peak midday travel period. Photo courtesy of Coriport.

In the case of the Liberia airport, Meza added that each of the delayed flight had an average of 160 passengers, in total affecting almost 2,000 passengers that could not be cleared by immigration to leave the country.

Migraciõn assures that no passengers lost their flight or connection. “Both at the Juan Santamaría International Airport and at Daniel Oduber, all without exception, passengers and flights, complied with the corresponding review, all flights and passengers entered and left Costa Rica with due control,” the statement added.

On November 28, a similar incident affected passengers at the Juan Santamaría airport during the early morning hours.

Leaving Costa Rica, the immigration service does a background check of every person leaving the country to ensure that there no impediments to their departure, such as judicial warrants or arrears in family support payments.

The check begins once the airline has closed its check-in, sending the detailed list of passengers to the immigration office located at each airport. Passengers who are not cleared to leave the country will be taken off the flight.

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