San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica’s Airport Gets Facelift in Time for Tourist Season

President Laura Chinchilla unveiled a new section of the Juan Santamaría Airport on Wednesday, promising more infrastructure of this type during her administration.

Before a crowd of government officials, media and passing tourists, Chinchilla cut the ribbon for the next phase of the project, which includes two new waiting rooms, each with 132-person capacity, along with two new gates.

Since April of last year, airport officials have opened a new immigration terminal with 28 positions as well as a new security station.

Transportation Minister Francisco Jiménez said he hopes Juan Santamaría will become among the top five airports in Latin America. Currently, it ranks 15th, he said, citing the International Air Transportation Association.

“The first and last thing a tourist sees in Costa Rica is the airport,” he said. “We now have a world class one.”

Work began on Costa Rica’s other international airport in Libería last month. The $34 million project is expected to be completed in six months.

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