The alternate airport for Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaria International

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The MEL Group hopes to convince investors for the construction of the new Limon International Airport.
The MEL Group hopes to convince investors for the construction of the new Limon International Airport.

LIMON, Costa Rica–Last week the Juan Santamaria International Airport that services the capital of Costa Rica, was under fire, literally almost. The powerful Turrialba Volcano erupted on March 11th and clouds of ash were flown into the Central Valley and reached the plain of “El Coco”, where the international airport is located, forcing the most important airport terminal in the country to shut down for a day and a half. The Airport resumed operations on Friday at 2:30 P.M. but more that 7000 thousand passengers were affected. Some airliners were stranded at the Alajuelan airport and some didn’t even departed from their original cities like Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, Dallas and Houston. Chaos really knocked the door at Juan Santamaria International Airport. And the biggest problem is that the future Orotina International Airport (just a project) is way delayed, the Costa Rican Government hasn’t event started to buy out the lands in the area where the new airport should be constructed. And even though Liberia’s Daniel Oduber International Airport is one of the most modern airport terminals in Central America, still the Guanacaste airport is 5 hours away from San Jose and logistically is not the best to function as an alternate airport for the AIJS (Initials in Spanish for the Juan Santamaria). But MEL Group’s project of constructing an international airport in Limon could be that “safety net” so much needed not only as a cargo gateway in the Caribbean province but also as a real alternate airport. If the new Limon International Airport would have been operating, last weeks chaos could have been diverted. It is also expected that the new highway between Limon and San Jose will put a driver in the capital in less than two hours. Now the country and the Province of Limon would have to wait to see if the MEL Group project will get full support of the Luis Guillermo Solis administration. At the end this will help avoid many headaches for passengers and also for the airlines that service Costa Rica.

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