The long anticipated and twice delayed inauguration of a new terminal at the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, capital of the northwest province of Guanacaste, has been rescheduled for next Thursday.
The new date was announced Wednesday at a press conference with Vice President Alfio Piva, Public Works and Transport Minister Francisco Jiménez, Tourism Minister Allan Flores and Aviation Vice Minister Luis Carlos Araya.
“Costa Rica will be in a very advantageous situation, since we will have the best secondary airport in all of Central America, and perhaps one of the best in Latin America,” Jiménez said. “This will be a very important part of the development of the northern Pacific region.”
The airport will have the capacity to provide service to 1,500 passengers during peak hours.
Included in the new terminal are security upgrades, such as separate corridors for passengers entering and leaving the country, security cameras, temporary holding rooms for detained passengers, and dormitories for people in the process of being deported.
The multiple delays in opening the terminal will cost concessionaire Coriport $500,000 in fines, to be paid to the Civil Aviation Authority. The authority will also receive $229 million during the 20-year concession term. According to Jiménez, the money will be invested in maintenance and remodeling of smaller, local airports across the country.
Coriport has six months to propose a plan to remodel the old Liberia airport terminal and expand airport services.
Flores said the delays did not affect the beginning of tourism’s high season in Liberia. He also announced that starting in June, Copa Airlines will connect Liberia with South America via a flight through Panama’s Tocumen Airport.