San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Liberia airport terminal opening delayed

A Nov. 17 target date for the unveiling of a new passenger terminal at the Daniel Oduber Quirós Airport in Liberia, the capital of northwestern Guanacaste province, has been delayed. 

Francisco Cordero, general manager of Coriport S.A., said previously that it would beoperational this week, but on Wednesday, Cordero said that he could not provide a new date (TT, Oct. 14).

In 2009, Coriport S.A. was awarded a 20-year concession to design, construct and operate the new terminal. The concession also includes development and management of the existing terminal.

“Coriport S.A. is working in conjunction with corresponding government organizations to ensure that the new terminal meets all technical and contractual requirements,” Cordero said.

The terminal has an initial price tag of $41 million, but Cordero would not say whether the delay could cause budget overages.

“Coriport S.A. is committed to using the best resources to obtain a world-class terminal, however we adhere and will continue to adhere to the contract completely at all times,” he said.

When finished, the state-of-the-art, 23,000-meter terminal will help increase tourism revenue, relieve airport congestion and create some 100 new jobs.

According to the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, 225,224 passengers arrived at Liberia’s airport in 2010. Until this month, only 8 international and two domestic airlines operated out of the cramped terminal, which can only accommodate about 900 passengers at a time.

Airlines have already announced new flights to the airport: Air Berlin began offering flights from Dusseldorf, Germany on Saturday, and JetBlue began offering its first flights to the airport Monday.

Cordero said the delay would not disrupt these flights, which will proceed as scheduled. Because the remainder of the Liberia airport is operational, Cordero said airlines would use those facilities until the new terminal is ready.

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