- Juan Santamaría International Airport
name = Juan Santamaría International Airport
image-width = 250
IATA = SJO
ICAO = MROC
FAA = SJO
type = Public
owner = Government of Costa Rica
Alterra Partners Costa Rica
city-served = San José, Costa Rica
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Heredia, Costa Rica
elevation-f = 3,021
elevation-m = 921
coordinates = coord|09|59|37|N|84|12|31|W|type:airport
r1-number = 07/25
r1-length-f = 9,881
r1-length-m = 3,012
Juan Santamaría International Airport ( _es. Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaría) airport codes|SJO|MROC is located in Alajuela about 20 km from San José,
Costa Rica. It is named after Costa Rica's National Hero Juan Santamaría, a courageous drummer boy who died in 1856defending his country against forces led by US-American filibuster William Walker. The airport, which is Costa Rica's primary airport, serves a great number of tourists from Canada, Europeand the United States. There are three other international airports in the country but only the Daniel Oduber International Airportin Liberia, Guanacaste is served by major airlines.
The airport serves as a hub for TACA/
Lacsafor its international network and for TACA's subsidiary Sansafor its domestic network.
The airport has a small
NASAhangar where they keep research aircraft that operate in Costa Rica.Fact|date=November 2007 Among the most relevant aircraft operated form this hangar is the WB-57F high altitude aircraft.
The airport has the usual assortment of duty-free shops. Unlike most other airports, arriving foreigners can purchase goods to bring back into Costa Rica. It also has a food court that includes some fast-food restaurants.
Juan Santamaria charges a $26 USD departure tax which can be paid in cash (U.S. dollars or Costa Rican colones) or by making a Visa card cash advance.
The airport has 10 gates 8 of them with jetways. 8 new boarding rooms were built so now the airport is capable of housing 17 commercial airplanes at the same time. There are 3 waiting rooms built on the first floor of the airport, next to the V.I.P room, for regional flights.
International Parking Positions
*No Jetway: 1
Regional Parking Positions
*No Jetway: 6
There is a bus stop outside the airport. The Alajuela - San José route buses stop there in both directions. Buses from other routes also stop there.
Taxis are available, there are also some unlicensed taxis charging considerably more, and some charging considerably less. Taxis will generally accept both colones and U.S. dollars, but not other currencies. Licensed taxis are red with yellow triangles on the doors, additionally there is an airport taxi service that is licenced and employs orange taxis- their rates are significantly higher than that of the non-airport taxis.
There is an ATM available at the baggage claim area (VISA, MasterCard) and another in the second level by the curbside of the entrance to departures (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) that dispenses colones and US dollars.
*Costa Rica Executive Transportation [http://www.costaricanexecutivetransportation.com] Providing Airport Transportation to anywhere in Costa Rica. Meet and greet services, airport transfers for all travelers to Costa Rica.
Airlines and destinations
The major operator in the airport is TACA/LACSA, followed by
Copa Airlinesand American Airlines. The following airlines have scheduled services to Juan Santamaría International Airport as of June 2007. :
AeroRepublica(Bogotá, Medellin) (Starts December 2008)
Air Caraibes(Pointe-à-Pitre, Panama city)
Air Comet(Madrid) [Resumes May, 2009]
Air Transat(Montreal, Toronto-Pearson) [seasonal]
American Airlines(Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Miami)
AviancaOperated by SAM (Bogotá)
Continental Airlines(Houston-Intercontinental, Newark)
Copa Airlines(Guatemala City, Managua, Panama City, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa)
Cubana de Aviación(Guatemala City, Havana)
Delta Air Lines(Atlanta, New York-JFK)
*Mexicana (Mexico City, Panama City, Guatemala City)
Spirit Airlines(Fort Lauderdale)
TACA(Guatemala City, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, San Pedro Sula)
**TACA Operated by
Lacsa(Bogotá, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Caracas, Guayaquil, Havana, Managua, New York-JFK, Panama City, Quito, San Salvador, Santo Domingo)
**TACA Operated by
US Airways(Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix)
*TACA operated by
Lacsa(Cancún, Medellin, San Andres Island, San Juan (PR)) [scheduled charters]
Pace Airlines(San Juan)
Air Transport International
Florida West International Airways
Gemini Air Cargo
LAN Chile Cargo
Lineas Aereas Suramericanas
Polar Air Cargo
Since 1997, a project to expand and renovate Juan Santamaria International airport was initiated. The project has been on the public spotlight, under allegations of
private enterpriseinefficiency. The airport has been operated by Alterra Partnerssince 2001 as part of a plan to improve the airport by the Costa Rican government. As of December of 2008, Houston Airport System Development Company (HASDC), will take over the administration from Alterra Partners.
In 2002-2003 they made major changes to the old terminal because it was not capable of handling the rapidly-increasing number of passengers and airlines, and demolished the old control tower and built a new one with a design matching that of the new terminal. Once HASDC takes over the administration, it has a 12-month deadline to complete the airport remodeling, which Alterra Partners failed to complete.
Sansa(regional airline operated by Grupo TACA) terminal will be built in the year 2008, with a total cost of 250,000 dollars.
New airlines and new routes
*TACA operated by
Sansanew international flights to David, Panama.
Aerorepublicawas authorized by Colombian aeronautical entity to start flights to San Jose. It's intentions are to have a daily flight to Bogota and a Monday-Saturday flight to Panama City.
* [http://www.alterra.co.cr/fiws Flight Information]
* [http://www.dgac.go.cr/ Dirección General de Aviacion Civil de Costa Rica] Costa Rican Aviation Authority
* [http://www.alterra.co.cr Alterra Partners] (official airport site, in Spanish)
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