Alterra: Airport Expansion Will Restart in January

December 16, 2005

THE more than $100 million expansion of Juan Santamaría International Airport, northwest of San José, will soon restart after nearly three years on hold, airport operator Alterra Partners announced Saturday.

 

In a demonstration of what the company called “good faith,” Alterra investors and financers have approved the restart of airport renovation for January, when the necessary construction equipment and personnel will arrive, according to a statement from Alterra.

 

Officials hope to begin with construction of the new terminal, in an effort to avoid affecting travel in the airport during the December-May tourism high season.

 

In April, work could begin on additional boarding gates and a new ramp, although the official timeline has not been set.

 

The approval to restart construction comes despite the fact that Alterra’s contract with the government to operate and renovate the airport still lacks “financial equilibrium,” according to the Alterra statement.

 

Alterra and the Costa Rican government have been in a contract dispute since March 2003 regarding the airport’s financing. Over the past year, the two entities negotiated a contract addendum that they agreed returns financial equilibrium to the project. However, the addendum must still be approved by the Comptroller General.

 

Although Alterra officials and Minister of Public Works and Transport Randall Quirós said the airport renovation would not begin until that final approval was given, the comptroller announced Nov. 28 that Alterra had 10 days to get the massive renovation project under way.

 

The comptroller’s order was based on a court’s decision that lack of financial resources was not a justifiable reason to stop construction (TT, Dec. 2).

 

Airport renovation has been halted since 2003, when, as a result of the contract dispute, the international lending institutions financing the project suspended the final $30 million of Alterra’s $120 million loan until the dispute was resolved.

 

Representatives of the international banks were in San José last week and, following meetings with government representatives, announced their support for restarting renovation immediately (TT, Dec. 9).

The contract addendum is expected to be formally sent to the comptroller for approval this week.

 

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

The planet loses 40 soccer fields worth of forests every minute
Climate Change
448 views
Climate Change
448 views

The planet loses 40 soccer fields worth of forests every minute

Michelle Soto / Latin Clima - March 24, 2019

In just 10 years the planet has lost 945,345 km2 of natural forests, a little over the total size of…

Slothy Sunday: The death grip
Environment & Wildlife
355 views
Environment & Wildlife
355 views

Slothy Sunday: The death grip

The Tico Times - March 24, 2019

With their long claws and strong muscles, sloths have a powerful grip. Their bodies are so conditioned to hanging from…

Costa Rica issues invitation to Commission on Human Rights following murder of Bribrí leader
Costa Rica
1202 views
Costa Rica
1202 views

Costa Rica issues invitation to Commission on Human Rights following murder of Bribrí leader

AFP and The Tico Times - March 23, 2019

Costa Rica on Friday invited the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to visit indigenous territories in the country’s southern…