San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

One bidder files for Oduber airport expansion by deadline

By the deadline Friday, only one company offered to shoulder the new international terminal expansion at the Daniel Oduber Quirós Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste, in the northwest, according to the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT).

CORIPORT, a consortium of five national and foreign companies, turned in its bid on Thursday to the National Concessions Council. The group would design, finance, build, operate and maintain the new terminal for 20 to 25 years, should its bid be approved by the council and the Civil Aviation Administration.

The five companies in the consortium are ADC & HAS Aviation, S.A., of the United States, MMM Aviation Group, S.A., of Canada, and Costa Rican companies Brad & Tod Corporation, S.R.L., Cocobolo Inversiones, S.R.L., and Emperador Pez Espada, S.R.L.

At an estimated price of $18 million, the new terminal will be located to the east of the current facility and measure 15,000 square meters.

Should CORIPORT´s bid be accepted, it would be responsible for periodic expansions of up to 5,000 square meters every five years, starting in 2014.

Work would begin on the airport as early as April 2009 and wrap up within a year, according to the council´s forecast.

But the Guanacaste Tourism Chamber (CATURGUA) predicted the airport expansion would be completed much later.

Alvaro Conejo, president of CATURGUA´s board of directors, said construction would begin next August and be finished by September 2010.

By Conejo´s count, 20 firms had expressed interest in the Oduber expansion. Only one, CORIPORT, followed through with a bid.

The Technical Council of the Civil Aviation Authority (CETAC) reported that 365,000 people passed through the Liberia airport in 2006. That number could reach as 526,000 by 2010.

Space is not a concern in the immediate future.

“We now have space for people waiting in transit,” said Conejo, adding that 1,200 people could potentially standby in Oduber with no problem.

During peak travel season, only about 850 people circulate the airport at any one time, Conejo said.

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