The northwestern Guanacaste province’s tourism has outgrown the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, and the government plans to offer private companies the chance to bid on a $15 million project to expand and improve it, the daily La Nación reported.
Viviana Martín, Technical Council of the Civil Aviation Authority (CETAC) president, explained that businesses are invited to submit proposals for a project to construct a new building at the airport.
CETAC hopes to have a 10,000-squaremeter building with capacity for 1,500 passengers in place by mid-2009.
When the airport was inaugurated in 2002, it received 56,000 passengers per year, but traffic has grown considerably – 355,500 tourists flew into Liberia last year, the daily reported.
According to Martín, the new building will include a larger waiting area for passengers and space for more airlines, Customs, Immigration, boarding gates, stores and food vendors.
President Oscar Arias has called the situation at Daniel Oduber “urgent” and remarked that turning to private companies for the expansion is the best option.
In the meantime, area hotels plan to build a temporary waiting area for passengers this year to relieve some of the airport’s congestion the until the new building is complete in 2009, according to La Nación.