SAN JOSE, Costa Rica–The Costa Rican Technical Council of Civil Aviation (CTAC in spanish) informed today of its expansion plans for the Quepos/Manuel Antonio Aerodrome at La Managua (code: XQP). The airport will become a regional domestic and international airport, capable of servicing aircraft as the regional jets Canadair CRJs, Fokker 70s and the ATR-72s. Today the aerodrome receives up to 20 flights a day, most of them domestic from San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. Two small carriers service Quepos/Manuel Antonio, SANSA Airlines (property of Avianca) and Nature Air. By 2015 the airport will be able to receive not only domestic flights but also internationals, since the new terminal will have Inmigration and Customs areas. Alvaro Vargas the Director of the Civil Aviation Board explained the upgrading consists in a longer and wider runway, bigger ramp, new airport terminal, fire station and hangars for airplane maintenance. The total cost of the upgrade will be of $5 million and its expected to bring more development to the area, well known as one of the “hottest” leisure destinations in Costa Rica. Quepos/Manuel Antonio Regional Airport will be the natural gateway to the Central Pacific, close to national parks, rain forests and spectacular resorts. It is also expected that airlines like Avianca would be interested in opening international services from its Central American hub at Comalapa International Airport in El Salvador, connecting the eleven North American gateways the airline services. Also new international Costa Rican carriers like Ticos Air and Tica Air International (property of Air Panama) are also expected to open flights to Quepos/Manuel Antonio once the airport has the new terminal building.
QUEPOS, Costa Rica–Well known as the power house of tourism in Central America, the Civil Aviation Board (DGAC in spanish) is hoping to bring the domestic airports into the next level of service and connectivity. Costa Rica has only two international airports (with Immigration and Customs), Juan Santamaria International Airport that services San Jose and Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia/Golden Coast in Guanacaste. The rest of the airports are 100% domestic. Costa Rica has landing strips and some with terminal buildings at Tamarindo Beach, Nosara Beach, Samara Beach, Punta Islita, Tambor Beach, Quepos/Manuel Antonio, Limon, Golfito, Palmar Sur, Puerto Jimenez, Drake Bay, Carate Beach and San Vito. But it is Quepos/Manuel Antonio (with code XQP) the one that will become the next Costa Rican executive airport. The plan is to extend its runway and ramp, construct a new terminal building that can be developed in due time to accomodate Inmigration and Customs Areas. With an extended runway XQP could allow the operation of the ATR-42s and ATR-72s (the airliner used by Avianca Airlines from its Central American hub in San Salvador) and private airplanes. Members of the Costa Rican Congress hope the new President (elections on February 2nd 2014) will develop several more of the domestic airports into executive airports to satisfy the demand of the leisure destinations accross the nation.