Friday 5 March 2021

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

The Juan Santamaría now in its twilight years and no replacement yet is in sight

The government of Costa Rica lacks a roadmap for its plan to build a new international airport at Orotina in the province of Alajuela.

After 18 months in office, President Carlos Alvarado assured La Republica that he will hire a study to have a firm base that allows him to define the future of the project.

After 18 months in office, President Carlos Alvarado assured La Republica that he will hire a study to have a firm base that allows him to define the future of the project.

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That means that it does not share the result of the report delivered by the previous government, made by the British Mott-MacDonald, at a cost of US$1.5 million dollars.

That analysis determined that the new airport project must be underway by 2027.

For now, there is no date for when a new study would be ready and its cost is unknown; What is known is that it will be financed by the Corporación Centroamericana de Servicios de Navegación Aéreo (Cocesna) – Central American Air Navigation Services Corporation – the same entity that assumed the cost of the previous analysis.

“That study will be the guide for future airport development policies in the country, which will serve as a basis for decision-making,” said Alvaro Vargas, director-general of Civil Aviation (Aviación Civil).

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The uncertainty over the future of the Orotina project is creating considerable concern among those who fear that the Juan Santamaría international airport (SJO) – San Jose airport as it is commonly known – appears to be near to the end of its useful life and no replacement has been identified.

The look of the new international airport to be built in Orotina

The main concern is that pre-investment studies to develop a public infrastructure project in the country demand between six and eight years.

And adding to that the construction time, the new airport would not be ready in less than a decade.

The concern expressed is that what happens if the next government doesn’t do anything either?

Source: La República report in Spanish.

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