Juan Santamaría International Airport on Friday inaugurated a $23.5 million expansion featuring four additional gates, a restaurant, a VIP lounge and a pet playground.
President Carlos Alvarado attended the ceremony and expressed his commitment to revitalizing the economy in part through projects that attract new airlines and more tourists to Costa Rica.
“This airport — which represents the main port of entry and exit of the country — is receiving a total investment of more than $96 million for its modernization and expansion,” Alvarado said, according to a press release from Casa Presidencial.
The new building is nicknamed “Victor Block” (Block V) and has two jet-bridge gates and room for two remote gates.
Of the $23.5 million investment, $22.5 million was supplied by Aeris Holding, the airport’s operator, while the remaining amount was contributed by the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC).
Juan Santamaría International Airport (IATA code: SJO) handles six of every 10 international tourists who arrive in Costa Rica, according to Minister of Tourism María Amalia Revelo. In 2018, the airport saw a 5.9-percent increase in arriving passengers over 2017, according to Amalia.
The expansions come despite Costa Rica’s intention to construct a new international airport in Orotina by 2027. However, Alvarado’s administration has put that plan on pause, according to the daily La Nación, as it focuses on more urgent projects.
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