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A new international airport in Costa Rica

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A plan to develop a new international airport in Costa Rica will create opportunities in areas including construction and operation of the project, infrastructure expansion, tourism and agriculture.

The airport will have three runways and could receive some 10 million passengers a year, according to the Government, which last week awarded a $1.6 million contract for preliminary studies of the project,

Apart from the capital cost, which would be about $5 billion, extrapolating from other recently-built airports, the project in addition would involves an expansion of the existing road and the construction of an electric train between San Jose and Orotina, the town where the new airfield would be located.

Located in farmland just 20 kilometers from the Pacific coast, Orotina would be a convenient location for tourists and for agricultural producers, whose exports to the United States and Europe would gain in efficiency.

The preliminary analysis, which will include the technical, operational, construction, financial, social, and environmental aspects of the project, will be conducted by the British firm Mott Macdonald, whose experience includes Hong Kong International Airport, Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport, the Channel Tunnel and Wembley Stadium.

The new facility would face strong local competition for the "hub" concept, given the size and scope of Tocumen International, headquarters of Panama’s Copa Airlines, and El Dorado in Bogota, the main base of Avianca.

On the other hand, Juan Santamaria International, located near the capital, has little room to grow.