Why is Guanacaste being
so cocky lately?
If you feel that recently
the people of Guanacaste have been walking around with an extra spring in their
step, their head held high, and especially happy...maybe even a little
conceited, well you aren’t imagining things. This is all due to a single reason: We finally have a new airport…and not just any airport, a seriously good and modern new airport!!!
In a province whose main crux of
development is tourism, the reaction has been automatic and unanimous: The entire province is jumping for joy!
With this new, modern, more efficient and
several times larger terminal, Guanacaste has taken a giant step in its
solidification as an international destination. We are optimistic and ready to
flaunt our attributes as a big time destination. It is our first step in
proving that we deserve a special place in the big leagues of the global
Now do you understand why we are all so
How could we not be?
The 12th of January 2012 was
not only the day when President Chinchilla inaugurated operations in the new
building, but was also the day something more symbolic happened. The last cherry was put on top of an
exquisite cake called Guanacaste, which already was very tasty but lacked a
positive first impression for tourists. Today, the arrival and departure experience in Guanacaste is world
is already receiving new flights from additional countries while the ICT (Costa Rican Tourism Institute) as well
as CATURGUA (Chamber of
Tourism of Guanacaste) are working hard to attract new airlines and
open new routes that make it easier for travelers from all over the world to
come and taste this tropical cake and try for themselves the multi-faceted
array of flavors and aromas that make “The
Guanacaste experience” come to life.
LIR: An airport to be proud of.
For years in Guanacaste we tried to
convince ourselves (without much
success), that our little airport was a
very picturesque first tropical encounter and somewhat happily anecdotal for
our visitors. The truth is that no matter
what rhetoric we used, the small improvised building simply did not measure
up. Conversely, the one we have now
really does! We went from having a class
F airport to a class B. In one jump we
skipped 5 categories in the international scale of airport classification.
Located adjacent to the old terminal, this
new building includes all the amenities that were missing in the unpopular old
terminal. The new airport has better
operating capability, more comfort and an excellent variety of services.
The new spacious terminal is two levels
and 168,000 sq ft with an additional 81,000 sq ft occupied by access zones,
parking and internal areas for a total of 249,000 sq ft and a total investment
of approximately US$41.5 million.
The project and its efficient execution
has been the responsibility of Coriport S.A., a conglomerate made up of three
investors groups: ADC&HAS Airports
Worldwide- an international airports operator, the Canadian design and engineering
firm MMM Group and the KKC group, composed of local investors.
The concession for the operation has been
granted for 20 years although it’s pertinent to clarify that the control of air
space and runway (Air Side) continues
to be exclusively operated by the Dirección
de Aviación Civil (National Civil
Aviation), with Coriport responsibility
lying solely with the operation of the terminal. (Ground
Designed to accommodate 1,500 passengers
per hour (750 arrivals and 750
departures) it has been able to radically
reduce the passenger transit time. And
although there have been some operational deficiencies on a couple of occasions
when there have been more than 4 simultaneous arrivals due to flights being
early or late, we have been informed by CORIPORT that contingency plans have
already been implemented for such events and they have also made other small
adjustments to correct some other situations discovered in the first months of
A tourist information center jointly
operated by CATURGUA and CALITUR (Liberia
Chamber of Tourism) offer a
warm welcome and a friendly first orientation to the tourists that so require.
Passenger boarding bridges,
ATMs, a children’s room, 30 airline counters, an expedited clearing of
Immigration, improved waiting areas, a better temperature control and beautiful
decoration that honors Guanacaste and Costa Rica are just some of the more
An area of almost 13,000 sq mt of
commercial space provides an ample gamma of services and entertainment for the
passengers- another large disparity between the practical abandonment in which
our travelers in transit were left in the past.
In addition to the spacious and
comfortable boarding areas, the travelers now have an excellent restaurant,
local art exhibits, photography, handicraft and jewelry, a comfortable waiting
room, 2 Duty Free stores and an information area for investments opportunities
in Guanacaste, making the wait for a flight a much more pleasant, varied and
While without a doubt the main benefit is
for the province of Guanacaste, it is anticipated that this new terminal and
the new flights that will be arriving, will also represent a benefit to other
nearby destinations, such as Monteverde, Arenal, Puntarenas and even for the
tourist industry of Southern Nicaragua.
From where and where to can I fly? On which airlines?
At this time
there are 115 weekly flights operating to the Liberia Airport (LIR), consisting of these airlines: Delta, American Airlines, Taca, Air Canada, United Airlines, US Airways,
Continental, Frontier, Jetair fly, Air Berlin and Jet Blue, as well as charters
flights from West Jet, Air Transat, Sun
Wing, Arkfly, Thomson or Jazz Air and domestic flights of
Sansa and Nature Air.
June, Copa will join them with 2 weekly flights from Panamá, connecting to all
the capitals of South America.
present cities of origin/destination are Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, New
Jersey (Newark), Nueva York (JFK), Toronto,
Montreal, Vancouver, Charlotte, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Cancun, San Salvador,
London and soon all of South America through Copa’s Panama City hub, although
the projections indicate that this list of options will continue to grow
strongly during 2012 and 2013. ( See flights tracking tool below).
Tracking Tool for flights to or from Liberia Airport (LIR)
Airport: (506) 2668 1010
Departures from Liberia Airport (LIR) in Guanacaste.
The information about flight status is updated every minute.
Arrivals to Liberia Airport (LIR) in Guanacaste.
The information about flights status is updated every minute.