Costa Rica Makes a Big Investment in Its Airports

by Megan Hill

Sep 7, 2019

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Last month at a press conference, Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado announced plans to invest more than CRC90 billion ($157.3 million) to modernize airport infrastructure across the country in projects through 2020.

The initiative is expected to boost the economy on both local and national levels, with new jobs created and additional tourism encouraged. In a tweet, Alvarado declared, “More investment, more tourism, more employment.”

The infrastructure improvements will include “customer service, resource optimization, continuous improvement and innovation,” Director General of Civil Aviation Guillermo Hoppe said in a press release. The projects will take place at four international airports — Juan Santamaría (SJO), Daniel Oduber (LIR), Tobías Bolaños (SYQ) and Limón (LIO) — and eight local airfields, Palmar Sur (PMZ), Golfito (GLF), Pérez Zeledón (IPZ), Guápiles (GPL), Quepos (XQP), Tortuguero (TTQ), Coto 47 (OTR) and Puerto Jiménez (PJM).

At Costa Rica’s main airport, Juan Santamaría International, several projects are planned to upgrade taxiways, track-lighting systems and passenger boarding; extend the head runway; and expand its terminal to the west.

The Tobías Bolaños International Airport will receive a brand-new air terminal; restructure the entire Alfa, Bravo and Charlie taxiways; install a new drinking water network and sewage and wastewater treatment plants; a new electricity and data network; a new fire-hydrant network; and construct a new general parking area.

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