San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

HAS Assumes Control Of Juan Santamaría Airport

The Houston Airport System (HAS) officially assumed managerial control this week of Costa Rica’s JuanSantamaríaInternationalAirport in Alajuela, west of San José.

The Technical Council of the Costa Rican Civil Aviation Administration (CTAC) validated documents to transfer control from Alterra Partners, the former airport terminal manager, to HAS.

The change in administration was first authorized on May 28, but an addendum to the contract, which extends the administrative control of HAS from 20 to 25 years, delayed the finalization of the contract for an additional seven weeks.

Alterra had operated the airport since May 5, 2001.

HAS, which is the fourth-largest airport operator in the united States. and the sixth-largest in the world, will assume a 51 percent controlling share of airport operations. Andrade Gutierrez S.A. (a Brazilian and Central American construction company) and the Canadian Airport Development Corporation hold the remaining shares.

In a Monday press conference at the airport, Transport Minister Karla González said that Alterra Partners will assist in the transfer of operations during the next two months, but HAS will begin expansion and remodeling projects immediately.

González said HAS plans to construct a small addition to the airport to serve as an immigration terminal. This addition is expected to be completed by May 31, 2010.

HAS also intends to add four boarding gates to the central terminal by July 1, 2010, according to González.

Tom Bartlett, chief operating officer and deputy director of aviation for operations services at HAS, has been named operations manager at Juan Santamaría. He will work with Alterra Partners during the next two months as HAS transitions into the role of airport administrator.

–Adam Williams


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