San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Permit to Allow for Southern Zone Airport

A long-awaited international airport in the Southern Zone is one step closer to reality after President Oscar Arias and local officials signed an agreement July 13 to permit its construction.

President Arias, along with Public Works and Transport Minister Karla González and Civil Aviation Commission (CTAC) president Viviana Martín, traveled to the Southern Zone town of Palmar Sur, where they left their signatures alongside that of Marvin Orozco, president of the Southern Zone Regional Development Board (JUDESUR), to construct an airport in Valle del Sierpe, on the Osa Peninsula, according to a statement from Casa Presidencial.

The first stage of construction includes a 1,800-meter runway to accommodate medium airplanes carrying up to 50 passengers, according to a statement from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MOPT). The second stage includes equipping the airport to handle larger 737-style aircraft.

Because of the airport’s sensitive environmental location in a relatively undeveloped area rich in biodiversity, the government has committed to a plan that involves the “strict management of solid and liquid waste and fuel,” the statement said.

Arias said the new airport could open up opportunities for the Southern Zone the way DanielOduberInternationalAirport, in Liberia, has helped spur development in the northwestern province of Guanacaste.

“I am happy to be able to give this area an airport so that jets can land (here) similar to the ones that are landing in Libera, which are changing the face of Guanacaste,” he said.


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