Costa Rica – 22-25 June 2015, I had the opportunity to conducted a successful SAE Airport Diagnosis at the second largest airport in Costa Rica, Daniel Oduber airport or Liberia International Airport, (LIR airport code) located in the pacific region of Guanacaste. Here’s some information that may be of interest to you. In the past few years, Guanacaste has become a very popular province in Costa Rica, highly dependent on tourism. The airport has impressively grown 15% passenger traffic volume from 2013-2014 and expected to continue growing in a steady pace of 3% – 6% year over year. To accommodate growth and passengers, Guanacaste needed a more well-constructed airport since it had not been updated since 1995. In 2012 the airport presented a brand new terminal building allowing for more efficiency and for more flights to go in and out and most importantly the new airport is able to handle a capacity of 1.5 million passenger growth from the current 790,00 passenger traffic volume. The new terminal building, encompassing approximately (250,000 sq ft), featuring a contemporary design that both increases efficiency and capacity over the existing facility. The new terminal opened on January 12, 2012, leaving the old terminal aside for other air-side usage. Southwest Airlines recently announced new service to Liberia, starting November 2015 with a daily non-stop flight from Houston, Texas. This will add a total of 15 international carriers operating from this airport.
The government of Costa Rica awarded CORIPORT, a 20-year concession to design, finance, construct and operate a new terminal building and its associated landside facilities. CORIPORT’s shareholders include Airports Worldwide. . The Master plan allows for two future expansion and/or improvements plans that may include additional boarding gates, expansion of immigration area, and a new baggage system. These improvements will be forecasted into two different phases one in 2018 with a budget of 6.5 million and the second phase in 2020 with an additional 6.5 million in investment.
Those attending the debriefing were Area Country Manager, David Hernandez, ACI-LAC General Director, Javier Martinez, Liberia Airport Director, Francisco Cordero, Civil aviation, other airport officials including myself participated in a positive discussions on the SAE recommendations to improve this airport. Final during our SAE we gain the support and cooperation of Police at Security Checkpoint and conducted two separate pilots by adding a secondary baggage search checkpoint and relocated a glass display with restricted/prohibited items, allowing passengers to dispose of these items prior entering screening area. Both initiatives provided immediate significant improvement in traffic flow. Other recommendations will be reviewed and considered for this year.