Airport expansion leads to higher capacity, fewer delays at SJO
Juan Santamaría International Airport is accommodating more airplanes with greater efficiency thanks to recent infrastructure improvements, Costa Rica’s Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) says.
According to DGAC, the completion of a taxiway parallel to Runway 25 has more than doubled how many operations (takeoffs and landings) it can handle per hour.
Average aircraft taxi time has also been reduced from 20 minutes to just five, the organization says, because airplane movements no longer block the runway or gate area.
“With these works, the operations per hour at the east end of the runway (heading 25) have been increased from 13 to 28 and the average take-off time of the planes from that heading has been reduced from 20 to five minutes,” Captain Guillermo Hoppe, DGAC’s Director General, said in a statement.
The parallel taxiway is one of many recent improvements to Costa Rica’s largest and busiest international airport.
In 2018, Juan Santamaría International Airport inaugurated a new terminal and an expanded apron for domestic flights.
A $23.5 million expansion of the international terminal in early 2019 included four additional gates, a restaurant, a VIP lounge and a pet playground.
Juan Santamaría International Airport 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% increase in arriving passengers over 2017.
The Costa Rican government is investing up to $160 million through 2020 to improve Costa Rica’s airport infrastructure, a move which President Carlos Alvarado said will create jobs and help support the tourism industry.
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