The low season in Guanacaste is almost over, and with its end, a massive number of tourists from all over the world will arrive in the last few months of this year and the beginning of 2015.
Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia is preparing to receive travellers that will visit the country in the coming months. But the airport’s manager is considering expanding its operational capacity to maintain its doors open 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
That was reported by Francicsco Cordero, the airport’s general manager, who indicated that the initiative to expand operations has been in the works since two years ago.
Back then, management consulted with the Technical Civil Aviation Council (Concejo Tecnico de Aviacion Civil), and although to date they have been unable to finalize plans for the operational expansion, Cordero believes that government officials support the project.
“The operations expansion for the terminal doesn’t depend on us; it depends on the government and coordination of human resources that each institution provides,” explained Cordero.
As such, Cordero said that each institution should complete an analysis to determine whether it can expand and adapt its operative capacity to maintain personnel working during different work shifts.
“There are departments that we know can make the adjustments, like the airport police. However, at the airport there are many more institutions involved, such as customs, immigration, the meteorological institute and the drug control police, among others, which is why good coordination is needed, and above all, personnel,” said Cordero.
For her part, Priscila Solano, president of the Guanacaste Chamber of Tourism (CATURGUA – Camara de Turismo de Guanacaste), confirmed Cordero’s statements and mentioned that there is a good disposition among different state institutions and even legislative deputies for the implementation of the operative expansion.
“We have met with Gerardo Bolaños, general director for customs, and he has said that there is no problem from their perspective. Better yet, he said that arrivals of cargo airplanes at the airport should be allowed,” Solano said.
Currently, Daniel Oduber International Airport operates from 4 a.m until 8:40 p.m., hosting twelve commercial airlines. However, the terminal still does not receive cargo planes, which is why an eventual expansion of the schedule would allow for the diversification of the port’s business.
“The airport has the structural capacity to operate 24 hours a day; on many occasions flights cannot land in San Jose because of bad weather conditions and they have to do so in Panama or Nicaragua because the airport here is closed,” lamented Cordero.
However, Cordero is optimistic about the possibly of opening the airport full-time in the medium term, which would allow for more tourists and cargo flights to arrive. “I’m optimistic and I think that with everyone’s support we could achieve the expansion of the schedule during the second trimester of 2015, which would benefit Guanacaste’s tourism and even allow for cargo flights, which usually operate at night,” he said.