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Latin America Investment News on Viva Tropical

Costa Rica’s New $40M Terminal

Article Summary:

Liberia Airport upgrade is nearly complete. The $40 Million dollar terminal expansion replaces corrugated metal tents that are the old terminal, with a new a jetway, air-conditioned immigration and a baggage claim.

Photo Credit: Inside Costa Rica

Original Article Text From Inside Costa Rica:

Riddle us this: What has four jetways, five security lanes, 484 seats, but no one yet in them or on them? The answer is simple: an airport terminal that hasn’t opened yet, and in this case we’re talking about Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia, Costa Rica, where a us$40 million terminal is ready to cut the ribbon as soon as authorities give the thumbs up.

Late last week Jaunted.com – reporting on Jetblue’s arrival to Liberia from JFK – took the opportunity to snoop around the place before most anyone else.

“We liked very much. Travelers who typically head down to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica for vacation or to visit family will be knocked off their butts next time they fly in and, instead of pulling up to the open-to-the-elements corrugated metal tents that are the old terminal, arrive instead to a jetway, air-conditioned immigration and a baggage claim so clean and spacious that it almost puts a tear in your eye”, says the Jaunted.com report.

The report called it “Extreme Home Makeover: Airport Edition” for Liberia Airport (LIR), a description straight from the mouth of Wogbe Ofori, the Senior Vice President of Global Operations for ADC & HAS, the people in charge with making the place a reality (though not a reality show), that has taken just a little over a year.

So, why does Liberia need a whole new terminal when they’re such a small airport?

Spend just a few minutes trying to get your flight out of the old terminal and you’ll see the reasoning immediately. On a Sunday afternoon during peak departure time as weekenders head home to go back to the grind, the old terminal is overflowing with passengers and their luggage; all seats are taken, all the good eats have long sold out from the single food vendor, and the cramped duty-free shop has a snaking checkout line that practically blocks new shoppers from entering.

Needless to say, Liberia has quickly outgrown its facilities as tourism to the region chugs ahead like a locomotive freshly shoveled full of coal. Just last week, three new flights to the airport began: the JetBlue direct from JFK, a competing route from Continental/United out of EWR, and a long-haul on AirBerlin from Düsseldorf, Germany. Plus, arrivals are on track to reach 600,000 people in 2012, up from 530,000 this year.

So, when will it open?

The answer to this is less certain than saying that they’ll be serving seriously decadent chocolate cake at the new cafe. The building is ready to go, save for a few things like taking the plastic off the shiny new metal detectors, buffing the expanse of tiled floor in the departures hall, and hooking up the bathroom sinks.

Heck, the “Pura Vida” souvenir magnets are already stuck to displays in the (much larger) gift shop, the large art photographs (all for sale by an in-terminal gallerist) decorating areas are already hung on the walls, and the waterfall feature in the security channel is running. All that’s needed is the official sign-off and for the ground vehicles and staff to move next door, and they’re in business.

Maybe you’ll be the first one to get a green Costa Rican passport stamp here – who knows?

Link to Original Article:

From Inside Costa Rica

Latin America Investment News on Viva Tropical