Costa Rican authorities on Wednesday inaugurated the renovated La Managua Airport in Quepos, one of the country’s most-important tourism destinations.
“This is the new runway at La Managua aerodrome in Quepos,” said President Carlos Alvarado, who attended a small ceremony at the airfield. “Complying with the safety regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), to this improvement is added an area for parking for Bravo-type aircraft, leveling of security strips, perimeter fencing and a new rainwater system throughout the terminal.
“The most important part of the work done at this aerodrome is the promotion of tourism that translates into support for families and tourism companies, large or small, in Quepos and nearby cantons.”
Renovations began in May after years of delays. Upgrades were first announced in 2017, but Costa Rican authorities later rescinded a building contract after the agreed-upon works never materialized.
Since then, the aerodrome had remained in a state of disrepair — most pressingly the runway, which desperately needed repaving. The condition of the facilities had contributed to fewer domestic flights to La Managua Airport, which serves the popular Manuel Antonio National Park and the Central Pacific region.
Now, the aerodrome has a parking apron, improvements to perimeter fencing and a new rainwater system, in addition to the paved runway.
Works were completed by the Costa Rican construction company MECO with a budgeted investment of 1.7 billion colones (about $2.7 million). MECO is one of the companies implicated in the ongoing “Cochinilla” bribery scandal.
Prior to its official inauguration, a SANSA flight carrying 12 passengers became the first to land at the renovated airport in early September, Noticias Quepos reported.
The administration of President Alvarado has prioritized airport improvements as a way to boost tourism.
Aerobell, SANSA and Costa Rica Green Airways offer domestic flights across Costa Rica; the latter two have scheduled service to Quepos (XQP).