QCOSTARICA – An unpaid water bill caused a delay in the flights at the Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela, aka the San Jose airport, this Monday afternoon, when aircraft were leaving 10 minutes apart, instead of one or two, as is the case under normal conditions.
The reason for this measure was the lack of water in the Radar building, forcing a reduction of the personnel in charge of assisting air operations.
In such conditions, the regulations establish a distance of 10 minutes between flights.
A document circulated internally by Aeris, the airport administrator, confirmed the situation: “Currently the radar is operating with greater separation between flights as a result of a health contingency, so delays in arrivals and departures are expected,” it reported.
That was at 2:55 pm.
However, 40 minutes later, a person in charge of the communications of the firm told La Nación that said circular had been “without effect”, but without giving further explanations about that demonstration.
Translation: the bill was paid.
The Aya, the water and sewer utility, is famous for cutting water service for non-payment, no matter whose bill it may be, yours, mine, or the governments.
The Radar building, apparently, was without water since Thursday, when the service was cut off due to non-payment. The Central Government is responsible for making this payment.
For this reason, workers must travel to another area of the airport to go to the bathroom, for example, which implies more delays in work.
“It is incredible that this is happening in the midst of a pandemic,” a Radar official told La Nación, who requested that their name be kept confidential.
Update 6:16 pm: Luis Miranda, deputy director of Civil Aviation, commented that “last week Civil Aviation proceeded to pay a pending water bill for which it issued a payment commitment, requested by AyA, in which the payment was effectively made, however, the service was cut”.
Miranda added: “Although the service was reconnected, a contingency measure was chosen for the officials while the water tank of the radar building was being filled. The measure lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, it was not prolonged, it was while the water level was optimal.”
According to Civil Aviation, ten flights were affected.