Costa Rica greenlights US$1.9bn international airport

The government of Costa Rica has issued two executive decrees for the development of the so-called international metropolitan airport in Orotina, a city in Alajuela province.

One of the decrees, signed by President Luis Guillermo Solís and transport minister Carlos Villalta, declared of public interest the planning, financing, development and construction of the airport.

The decision was made following the delivery of the project’s master plan, basic design, and technical and financial prefeasibility studies, which were commissioned to British firm Mott MacDonald last year through a tender process.

According to the master plan, the airport would require an initial investment of US$1.9bn and would begin operations in 2027. The project would be carried out in three phases. It would have the capacity to handle 7.8mn passengers a year in the first phase, with the possibility of eventually reaching a maximum annual capacity of 50mn.

«The idea for this new airport infrastructure came up over two decades ago. And today, we are taking the first step with the preliminary studies and the master plan, which provide the technical conditions for the project,» Solís said in a statement.

The government also instructed the civil aviation technical council (Cetac) to carry out the relevant procedures so the terms of reference for the project’s environmental impact study can be issued.

The other decree is for the expropriation of the land where the airport will be built.

The government also allowed Cetac and the public works ministry to ask the national forestry administration to begin land clearing work at the proposed site of the project, which was already one of the investment initiatives in the national planning and economic policy ministry’s portfolio…

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