Sunday 16 May 2021

Transport Minister: “We have to forget about the airport in Orotina for a few years”

Ministry of Transport will begin this year negotiations to extend the San Jose international terminal contract; Necessary works will be defined to attend the services and eventual compensation for losses in pandemic

QCOSTARICA – The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) – Ministry of Public Works and Transport – intends to begin negotiations with the manager of the Juan Santamaría airport (SJO) this year to extend the contract, which will remain the country’s main airport  for a long time to come.

The Santamaría resumed operation for commercial flights in August, after almost five months of closure, but it wasn’t until the end of the year that it consolidated the recovery of an important part of the flights it operated before the pandemic. Photo: David Vargas

MOPT Minister Rodolfo Méndez Mata emphasized: “We have to forget about the airport in Orotina for a few years and concentrate on the Santamaría.”

- Advertisement -

Studies concluded before the pandemic indicated that the San Jose airport, located in Alajuela, would have life until 2040 and a little beyond, which is convenient given the decision to put on pause the development of a new airport in Orotina promoted by the previous administration, which had also been continued from the beginning of the current administration.

Read more: Where and when is Costa Rica going to build its new airport?

“With the pandemic it is easy to understand that it (the airport) has more life, what we have to see is how we manage the extension of that life, for the user, to meet the demand in the best possible way. It seems to us that expanding the relationship with the manager, who has shown to do a commendable task, is the best alternative and we would enter into a process of whether it is a feasible route,” said Méndez.

The San Jose airport is under the management of Aeris Holding, whose contract expires in 2026.

- Advertisement -

According to Méndez, if the contract expansion occurs, there are aspects that the Government must resolve, such as the need to commission new works that guarantee efficient operation in the coming years, and, the eventual financial compensation that the manager is empowered to claim for the months in which its income fell by more than 70% due to the closure of operations due to the health emergency of covid-19.

The minister affirmed that in this way, in addition, they could guarantee users rates similar to those currently available and that those costs do not suffer the impact of the pandemic.

Méndez said that the team that will carry out the negotiation process, which will work hand in hand with representatives of the General Directorate of Civil Aviation, will be formed the first months of the year.

Once the terms of the new contract have been finalized, it must be submitted for approval by the Comptroller General.

Months ago, the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Concessions, Olman Elizondo, had indicated that a report is already being worked on with possible scenarios in the operation of the San Jose airport terminal.

This commission arose at the time that the manager confirmed that it would suspend some of the expansion works included in the master plan, due to the fall in revenue due to the pandemic.

- Advertisement -

Among the works that were stopped is the relocation of the fire station and the construction of the so-called infill project, a building on four levels where 16 counters would be added to check-in passengers or baggage delivery; 15 additional self-service check-in kiosks, an additional baggage claim carousel and more space for the Customs and Agriculture area, as well as for airline offices; which was just in the early stages of construction.

In the case of the transfer of fire station, the intention was to resume work this year, since the agility with which emergency bodies can move to any point in the airport is a requirement that is part of international regulations. Regarding the infill project, Aeris considers that now it is not such an urgent work, so it could be postponed until 2023-2024.

In addition, it indicated, it would give priority to other types of improvements, more associated with technology and automation of services, such as self-check stations and biometric reading of passports.

The minister affirmed that another issue that must be addressed “urgently” this year is work on the runway at the Daniel Oduber airport (LIR), in Liberia, which requires an investment of US$100 million.

According to the Minister, the funds for these works were also affected by the pandemic, so they are now looking for an alternative that implies a lower investment to carry out that work.

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Ricohttp://www.theqmedia.com
"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

San Jose airport how has rapid covid-19 testing for travelers

QCOSTARICA -  Travelers who require a negative covid-19 test to enter...

Failure in Immigration system caused long lines at Juan Santamaría airport

QCOSTARICA - A system failure of the Dirección General de Migración...

MOST READ

Protesters tried to block roads, but Police prevented closures

QCOSTARICA - Small groups of protesters tried to block several routes in the country on Monday, but the Fuerza Publica (National Police) managed to...

Natalia Carvajal tells of her arrest at San Jose airport with false proof of covid-19

Q MAGAZINE - he former Miss Costa Rica and television personality, Natalia Carvajal, broke the silence of her arrest several weeks ago at the...

Recope requests the sixth consecutive increase in fuel prices for 2021

QCOSTARICA - The Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo(RECOPE - the refinery that does not refine anything - requested the sixth consecutive fuel hike in 2021. As...

How to Make the Most Out of Your Travel Experience

There’s no one out there that doesn’t love the sense of adventure that comes with exploring a new place. Whether you’re planning a short...

San José is the queen province of street brawls

QCOSTARICA - Frequently the 911 emergency services receive calls reporting street brawls, "pleitos" in Spanish, and most are made from San José. And many...

Farmer’s fairs remain fertile despite the effects of the pandemic

QCOSTARICA - Despite the effects of the pandemic, "ferias" (farmers fairs) that are a staple on weekends across the country, from small towns to...

Caja to move ‘non-covid’ patients to private hospitals

QCOSTARICA - Caja patients with diseases other than covid-19 will be transferred to private hospitals, to make room for covid patients, through the "Urgent...

Rodolfo Méndez will complete the Circunvalación, a work that he started in 1978

QCOSTARICA - It's been almost 43 years since the Circunvalación (Ruta 39) project, to provide the capital with a peripheral ring road, was started,...

Why Colombian protesters are taking to the streets

QCOLOMBIA – For the past two weeks, mass protests that started on April 28, have rocked Colombia, leaving at least 42 people dead and hundreds...

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

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.