Airport Officials Hope to Reroute Highway for Security Reasons

April 13, 2007

International airport officials aren’t comfortable with the fact that airplanes come and go within a stone’s throw of one of Costa Rica’s busiest highways – and local airport officials are requesting changes, according to a report in the daily La Nación.

Bernal Mesén, director of Costa Rica’s Civil Aviation Authority, has asked the National Concessions Council, a branch of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MOPT), to analyze the possibility of rerouting a section of the

Inter-American Highway

near the JuanSantamaríaInternationalAirport through a tunnel, thereby alleviating safety concerns.

According to Mesén, international certification of the airport requires a safety zone around the facility, located northwest of San José.

“Certification includes elements like access to emergency and fire services, but we’re most concerned with the creation of security zones,”Mesén told the daily.

Other issues include the removal of trees, signs, and buildings that compromise security in the zone, and, in the event of an emergency or aborted landing, could present obstructions for a waylaid plane.

The re-routing remains a proposal for now, as there appears to be some disagreement among government officials on whether or not such a move is necessary.

Guillermo Álvarez, of Civil Aviation’s Technical Council (CETAC), told La Nación he is skeptical.

“It is not tragic if we can not comply with international regulations. The reality of the JuanSantamaríaInternationalAirport is that we simply can not comply with all the requirements,” he said.

 

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