QCOSTARICA – The government of Costa Rica will invest US$105 million in the Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR), more commonly known as the Guanacaste or Liberia airport, located in the Pacific north tourist area, to build and expand the runway, the maneuvering area, and some related works.
In the press conference after the Governing Council on Wednesday, President Rodrigo Chaves indicated that the objective is to increase the operational capacity of the airport, the second most important air terminal in the country, which will allow attracting more tourists and airlines.
“Tourism is an investment and economic dynamism for the country. Our visitors deserve spacious, safe facilities. We want to offer optimal conditions for the airlines, for the tourist and that their visiting experience increases tourism,” Chaves highlighted.
This project is part of the Plan Nacional de Desarrollo (National Development Plan) defined by the government and includes an estimated investment of US$105 million dollars, with 50% financing from the national budget; a40% contributed from Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rican Tourism Board and the remaining 10% with external financing funds from the Civil Aviation Technical Council.
“Currently the airport does not allow flights from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am, which limits the arrivals. In addition, a taxiway will be built to increase the airport’s capacity,” explained the Minister of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT), Luis Amador.
The work will be developed in three years, with th financing, bidding, award and pre-execution processes carried out this year, while by 2024 the execution will begin and completion in 2025.
Tourism is one of the main engines of the Costa Rican economy. Before the health crisis, the country received just over 3 million tourists a year, providing employment for some 400,000 people, almost 8% of the country’s population of 5.1 million.
Last year, the arrival figures came close to equaling those registered before the pandemic, according to the ICT.