Liberia Airport Expansion Underway
Feb 2011 -
Construction to expand the International airport near Liberia is underway and expected to be completed this year. The expansion of services will include 4 new departure gates, new airline check-in desks, and common areas that will be able to hold 1,500 people, a 50% increase over the current capabilities. The new building, which will be used by international, private and local flights, will have two floors with commercial areas, bathrooms, air conditioning and public services such as telephones and the Internet. Plans are also underway to increase the number of employees trained in immigration procedures.
The expansion of the Daniel Oduber Airport, one of only 2 international airports in Costa Rica, has become necessary due to the upswing in tourism to the region. In the first eight months of 2010, visitor arrivals grew by 15% compared to August 2009. A preliminary expansion was completed at that time, with a US $2 million renovation which allowed the airport to receive 11 planes simultaneously, including four more Boeings 767's. Since then, many airlines have added direct flights to Liberia airport, from popular gateway like Houston, Denver and London
The Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport was built in 1995. Designed to service Costa Rica’s northwest Pacific coast, the airport was named after one of Costa Rica’s presidents, Daniel Oduber (1974-1978), who was an advocate for expansion in Guanacaste tourism. President Oduber's lobbying for a Guanacaste airport was the driving force behind the construction and has paid off in an increase in tourism, with thousands of travelers able to reach their destinations on the beach within 2 hours or less. Previously, all international flights entered San Jose, a 5 -6 hour drive from the northwest.