Thursday 29 September 2022

Civil Aviation prepares protocols for full reopening of international airports

The operation at the international airports s minimal, due to the restrictions decreed by the government prohibiting the entry foreigners to the country as part of the measures to face the covid-19 pandemic.

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What will the Juan Santamaria (San Jose) and Daniel Oduber (Liberia) airports be like post the coronavirus pandemic?

The arrivals hall at the San Jose airport (SJO). Currently, the operation at the international airports s minimal, due to the restrictions decreed by the government prohibiting the entry foreigners to the country as part of the measures to face the covid-19 pandemic.

That is what is being discussed at the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (Dirección General de Aviación Civil), together with the administrators of the air terminals, as the country prepares for the full reopening its international airports.

Alvaro Vargas, director of Civil Aviation, explained that the idea is to create the protocols that will be applied for when the operation of the airports is regularized.

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“It implies having channeled screening of passengers, disinfection of the luggage arriving at the terminal, distancing in check-in areas and boarding gates, the capacity of the aircraft and the disinfection of the luggage carts (used by passengers)”, explained Vargas.

The director indicated that this issue has been discussed with industry representatives at the regional level, aeronautical directors, and health authorities.

In fact, Civil Aviation has already established operational provisions for airlines, pilots and crew, which include the extension of the periods of licenses, medical certificates, training, as well as certificates of air operators.

Last Monday, Costa Rica participated in the first video conference on the covid-19 for the directors of Civil Aviation of North, Central America and the Caribbean (NACC).

During the session, the projections on the reduction in the number of operations and passenger traffic for the year 2020 were analyzed.

The different recovery scenarios that could occur were also discussed, as the pandemic evolves and restrictions are lifted at the terminals.

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Currently, operation at the Juan Santamaría (in Alajuela) and Daniel Obuber (in Liberia) international airports is minimal.

With the airline cancellations of scheduled service to and from the country, only the entry of Costa Ricans or residents is permitted, most of whom have arrived in the country on humanitarian flights, and subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

Passengers leaving the terminal has been on chartered flights, such as the repatriation flight coordinated by the U.S. Embassy in San Jose with United Airlines for April 30, 2020.

For the latest status of the San Jose airport and a list of all carriers’ plans, please visit the airport site:

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