Costa Rica’s New International Airport – Government has discarded the megaproject in Osa pushed by previous administration.

The new project, proposed by Luis Carlos Araya, Vice Minister of Aviation and Maritime Transport, consists of “adapting” the existing airfield facilities at Palmar Sur with the facilities of an international airport.

To achieve this, it will be necessary to extend the runway by 400 meters and build facilities for immigration services, customs and security. The work would cost about $25 million.

With these changes, Araya and the Mayor of Osa, Alberto Cole, “intend to put into operation an airport attractive for corporate flights and also to receive commercial shipments.”

According to them, this will be a terminal capable of providing “an exclusive service” for private flights.

“We are anticipating that people who fly their own planes can be attended to with ground services with great safety…” said Luis Carlos Araya.

With this, they are “discarding the megaproject” of building a completely new terminal in Osa, which was promoted by the two previous governments.

“The plan for the airport in the Southern Zone today doesn’t fit. It is neither feasible nor possible that the country can make that investment ($50 million)”, said Araya.

Mayor Alberto Mayor Cole explained that for the international terminal project to be successful it will be necessary to promote tourism development in the area.

His concern was echoed by Carlos Ricardo Benavides, Minister of Tourism, who said he had proposals for the area he calls “a gem.”

“It would be difficult to attract a significant number of airlines if there are not enough hotel units to accommodate a large number of people,” he said.

After that statement, land was selected and plans were discussed but after the end of President Pacheco’s administration, President Oscar Arias (2006-2010) was about to sign a declaration of the public’s interest in the plan, but the document was shelved.

It was on 22nd January 2004 that the intention to build an international airport in the Southern Zone was first announced by President Abel Pacheco (2002-2006). In 2007 Viviana Martin, the Vice Minister of Transportation announced that construction would begin on the new airport in 2010.

The Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) has discarded the idea of a “megaproject”, the new international aiport terminal and instead will improve the existing runway at Palma Sur.

Note From Scott Oliver. The La Nacion newspaper article is slightly contradictory in that the column’s title refers to the “revival” or “resurfacing” of the plans for an “international aiport in the Southern Zone” yet, the commentary from Luis Carlos Araya, the Vice Minister of Air Transportation that’s included makes it crystal clear that they are “discarding the megaproject” of building a completely new terminal in Osa, which was promoted by the two previous governments.

My first ‘International Airport’ article below was written five years ago in September 2005:

Written by Scott Oliver, author of 1. Costa Rica Real Estate Scams & How To Avoid Them, 2. How To Buy Costa Rica Real Estate Without Losing Your Camisa, and 3. Costa Rica’s Guide To Making Money Offshore.

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