Officials plan to sign Orotina airport study contract

Government officials will take another step today to construct a new jetport in the canton of Orotina. The new airport is supposed to be ready by 2025 and be twice the size of the existing international airport, Juan Santamaría.

The central government is calling today an historic occasion. The plan is to sign a contract for a master plan for the airport. 10 international firms have been competing for the contract, and the successful bidder has not yet been named.

The firm selected will help government officials determine exactly where the new airport will be located within the Alajuela canton and sketch out the details of the airport.

There also are many technical details related to flying that have to be considered.

The firm selected will have a year to do the work and receive about $1.6 million in  payment.

The work would start quickly if none of the other bidders challenge the award. This type of work was supposed to have been started in 2014, so government officials are not too hopeful that the airport will be ready by 2025.

The regional Corporación Centroamericana de Servicios de Navegación Aérea is paying for the study.

The new airport is supposed to have two runways, each three miles long to accommodate giant jets.

There are supposed to be 20 boarding ramps, double the capacity of Juan Santamaría. The land area is expected to be about 1,200 hectares or about 2,965 acres.

Bids for the study were due in March.

Attending the ceremony today will be President Luis Guillermo Solís, Carlos Villalta, the minister of Obras Públicas y Transportes, and the tourism minister, Mauricio Ventura. The site will be the Orotina fairgrounds.

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