Friday 8 December 2023

Cóbano Aerodrome Inaugurated in Southern Nicoya

Only twenty minutes from Santa Teresa and Mal País, and just seven form Montezuma, the new airport in Cobano officially opened on August 5th

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QCOSTARICA — At roughly the same size as the Tobias Bolaños airport in Pavas, upwards of 200 people helped celebrate the opening of the new Cóbano Aerodrome in southern Nicoya on Saturday, August 5, 2023.

The facility promises to slash travel time to seven minutes to Montezuma, and to Santa Teresa and Mal Pais (just 20 minutes) as compared with the existing airport at Tambor.

Cóbano Airport partners Santiago Guinea (left) and Francisco Javier “Patxi” Rodriguez with Sunshine Air founder Rodolfo Valverde (center). The aircraft is a five-passenger, single-pilot Piper Aztec. Photo by Sunshine Air Capt. Henry Tencio

There were about a dozen aircraft at the inaugural event, including planes from operators Sansa, Aero Caribe and Sunshine Air, and gyrocopters operated by Adventure Flights, which has been at the site since 2018.

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Santiago Guinea of Adventure Flights is the prime mover behind the new Cóbano Aerodrome. His partners include Manuel Ángel Fernández and Francisco Javier “Patxi” Rodriguez. Everardo Carmona, owner of the runway and owner of Costa Rica Green Airways, invested around US$1.5 million after a process that formally began in 2019.

Budget Car Rental Costa Rica has an exclusive contract to operate from the new field, and will maintain cars there, Guinea says. Montezuma-based Sun Trails, which offers zip line canopy tours, has an office in the new terminal too.

The building also hosts the La Glida café, the Ave del Paraiso gift and souvenir shop, and the Pantera taxi service.

Aero Caribe brought two of its six airplanes to the Cóbano Aerodrome opening. The company offers bespoke flights to more than 20 Costa Rica locations, as well as medical evacuation services.

Aero Caribe brought two aircraft to the Cóbano Airport opening, including the five-passenger Piper Seneca in the foreground. Photo by Rich Piellisch

Rodolfo Valverde of the Sunshine Air taxi service flew in on Saturday morning and said he expects to use the new airport. Valverde runs the Instituto de Formación Aeronautica technical school at Tobías Bolaños International in San Jose, and said IFA courses may be offered at Cóbano too.

More Q: Aiports and Aerodromes of Costa Rica

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“We hope to continue being strategic allies for many more years,” IFA says.

Sansa brought one of its large Cessna aircraft to the Saturday event. Scheduled Sansa flights remain a possibility.

Costa Rica’s SAAT (the Soporte Asistido Aéreo y Terrestre) air ambulance service was on hand Saturday.

The Cóbano Aerodrome runway, measuring is 1,300 meters long, with 995 meters between the headers and is designed for aircraft that can take off and land on short runways, is more than half again as long as Tambor’s. With an east-west orientation, aircraft can take off and land in either direction.

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Cóbano Aerodrome is located east of town, adjacent to the Redondel de Toros Oldemar Fernandez arena, site of the annual Festejos de Peninsulares Nicoya in February.

Guinea notes that the new Aerodrome, approved for public use by DGAC (Costa Rica’s Civil Aviation), is an expansion of the Adventure Flights gyrocopter aerodrome. The expansion, with 1,300-meter runway and terminal building, was accomplished in just eight months, with private funding.

Article by Rich Piellisch. You can contact the author at

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