Saturday 24 July 2021

Government to compensate Liberia airport manager US$600K for pandemic losses

The concession contract establishes a minimum number of passengers per year and, if this is not fulfilled, the State must pay the difference of US$7 per every arrival that did not occur

Paying the bills


Carlos Alvarado foresees the lifting of sanitary restrictions for the last quarter

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rica President, Carlos Alvarado, in Guanacaste...

Costa Rican surfer in race against time to Tokyo

QCOSTARICA - It was a race against time for...

Covid-19 robbed Costa Rican population 60,170 years of life between the end of January and June

QCOSTARICA - Covid-19 would have caused the Costa Rican...

More than 170,000 will benefit from projects for access to drinking water in Guanacaste

QCOSTARICA - More than 170 thousand people from the...

MOPT uses its own equipment to attend to roads affected by rain

QCOSTARICA - The emergency due to the rains that...
Paying the bills


QCOSTARICA – Coriport, the company that manages the Daniel Oduber Quirós International airport (LIR), in Liberia, Guanacaste, claimed the State for compensation of US$600,000 dollars for the loss in income during the months in which the country’s airports were closed to tourists in 2020, as part of the sanitary measures imposed by the covid-19 pandemic.

The Liberia airport began to receive tourists again in September last year, after six months of closure. Photo ICT

The payment has already been accepted by the Consejo Técnico de Aviación Civil (Cetac) –  Costa Rica Civil Aviation agency.

- Advertisement -

Although the country opened the air borders in August last year, in the case of Liberia, most airlines restarted their operations in November, when the entry of tourists from all countries, in particular the United States, the country with the majority of flights to and from the airport.

César Jaramillo, manager of Coriport, explained that they recorded losses of more than 60% during the time they did not receive passengers and according to the concession contract, established is a minimum number of passengers that must pass through the terminal each year.

Read more: Getting covid tested at the Liberia airport

If that figure is not reached due to reasons outside the control of the company, the State compensates the manager an amount for each traveler who did not arrive.

Hence, even the pandemic that affected the whole world is no exception.

The state commitment, in this case, refers to a minimum of 331,500 departing passengers, although, before the health crisis, Liberia received close to one million travelers.

- Advertisement -

At the end of 2020, the Daniel Oduber airport had 247,084 passengers, for which the State would make up for the difference of 85,416 people.

Read more: Liberia opens lab for covid-19 antigen testing

“The fall in passengers had a much greater impact than this minimum clause. The effects are much greater than Coriport’s finances because we, at the airport level and at an even greater economic level, are a gear; Every dollar invested in the airport generates US$13 of gross domestic product for the country, it is a very large multiplier effect,” said the manager.

Company intends to assume full control of Liberia airport

Although Coriport had expressed since 2017 its interest in assuming the operation of the aerial part, that is, of the runway and other infrastructure outside the passenger terminal that is currently under the control of the Cetac, these intentions did not prosper and are not an option to consider amid the urgency of repairs, such as the runway, and state limitation of resources.

- Advertisement -

According to Luis Miranda, deputy director of Cetac, the eventual extension of the contract would take much longer.

“What is being valued to keep runway-level operation at a competitive level is to provide it with a total asphalt layer to improve its operating capacity and it would be guaranteed for 10 years; Compared to the initial project, which was a substantially different improvement, we would be able to bear the cost of the project,” he said.

It may interest you: KLM returns to Liberia, Guanacaste

This improvement means an investment of between US$20 and US$25 million and the intention of Cetac is to carry out the contracting process during this year, so that the work begins in 2022.

The project that was discarded by the Cetac due to the government’s lack of funds, consisted of building a new runway and leaving the existing one as an extended taxiway.

Miranda affirmed that they do not rule out resuming that plan in the future.

“It is something that is going to require a better economic moment for the country,” he added.

For his part, the Coriport manager maintains that the company is willing to negotiate eventual contractual extensions in order to give the airport the improvements it requires.

“We are always open to dialogue and give a contribution to what the country needs, but the Government has been clear that the administration of the airside corresponds to them. We have had this issue aside, during this time we have concentrated a lot on the land part,” he added.

Jaramillo said that major investments, included in the terminal’s master plan, had already been completed before the impact of the pandemic.

More passengers arriving

According to the Coriport, since the re-opening of the airport, the arrival of passengers has been increasing.

They went from 15,000 visitors in November to 30,000 in December and, by March, it was up to 50,000 travelers per month and expected to maintain that increasing trend until July.

Read more: Jetblue resumed flights to Liberia with direct flight from Los Angeles

“In 2019, we reached 1.2 million (passengers), that’s 100,000 per month, we still handling only a percentage of what was a normal pre-pandemic year,” added the Coriport manager.

In Guanacaste, they call this volume of recovering traffic “survival season”.

For Jaramillo, the figures are still critical. as they are not yet sufficient for the tourism sector and to move the province’s economy.




- Advertisement -
Paying the bills
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

American Airlines plane received refusal for an emergency landing in Liberia due to communication failure

QCOSTARICA - An American Airlines plane was denied landing on Saturday...

Southwest resumes operations today at the Guanacaste Airport

QCOSTARICA - This Sunday, the Guanacaste Airport - a member of...

Subscribe to our stories

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.