Costa Rica upgraded Drake Bay Airport last year, inaugurating in January 2019 a new runway, expanded apron and a modern passenger terminal.
That investment is already showing positive returns, according to the Civil Aviation Authorities (DGAC).
From January-July 2019, 12,727 people transited through Drake Bay Airport, which serves Bahía Drake in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. That’s nearly double the passengers compared to all of 2018, though the airport was closed for part of last year due to the renovations.
A more telling statistic: The number of operations (takeoffs and landings) has risen to 281 per month, up from 89 prior to the modernization project.
“We are able to positively impact the lives of many people through projects that enhance the tourist and economic revival of rural areas,” said Guillermo Hoppe, DGAC’s director. “We believe that the visitation to the area will increase even more, which shows that the investment in aeronautical infrastructure carried out by the Civil Aviation Technical Council with its own resources is energizing the country’s economy.”
DGAC and the Costa Rican government are also making investments at the Palmar Sur, Pérez Zeledón and Golfito airfields in the Southern Zone.
The 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.
“This investment generates employment and energizes other sectors, especially tourism,” Alvarado said.