Friday 2 June 2023

San Jose airport will charge tourists more to “recover” debt

After months of analysis and negotiations, the government agreed to extend for another 10 years and to the additional charge to be passed on to users of the country's main international airport

Paying the bills


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QCOSTARICA – The Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose (SJO) will charge a fee of US$1.56 to incoming and outgoing tourists, with the aim of being able to recover the payment of the US$109 million debt that the State has with the Aeris consortium, the company that operates the air terminal and whose contract was extended this week for ten more years.

This debt arose as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, when the manager had to borrow around US$109 million to continue operating the airport.

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The objective of this would be to avoid a greater affectation by the debt in the airport rates, and it would be necessary to issue a decree, for which reason the Dirección General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) – Civil Aviation – is still unclear when the added fee would begin to be applied (included in air tickets).

Fernando Naranjo Elizondo, executive director of the DGAC, stated that the contractual extension is key to the continuity of the AIJS expansion works and compliance with the airport master plan and that initially the estimate would be to maintain it for ten years, but that it will be analyzed periodically

“The financial model is being validated for 10 more years, until 2036, the AIJS interested management contract with the current manager. Which gives legal certainty for contracts of this type and international organizations that monitor us in this matter,” said Naranjo, who stressed that the contractual extension would stop an abrupt increase in airport rates charged to passengers and airlines.

Aeris is a company of the CCR Group of Brazil and is responsible for the operation, maintenance, rehabilitation, construction, financing and promotion of Costa Rica’s main air terminal.

The decision to extend the contact was made public on Monday of this week.


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