Mott MacDonald has delivered the masterplan for a new US$3.5 billion international airport in Alajuela, Orotina, Costa Rica to the Centro American Corporation of Air Navigation Services (COCESNA). The project will replace the country’s Juan Santamaria International Airport in San José, which will be unable to meet future passenger demand beyond 2026.
After conducting a 12-month feasibility study, Mott MacDonald has forecasted a demand of 7.8 million passengers at the new airport during its first year of operation in 2027, rising to 20 million in 2047 and 50 million long-term. To support additional passenger numbers, the study recommends the expansion of Route 27, a key link between San José with Puntarenas, the construction of a new highway in Alajuela connecting Pozon de Orotina and San Ramón, as well as a new train route between Orotina and San José.
The President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Sollis, was presented with the masterplan at a public presentation in San José. Mott MacDonald developed the masterplan as part of an integrated team which also included FSA, Enroute and Gensler. It was prepared in close collaboration with government departments and with direct oversight from Dirección General de Auronáutica Civil, Costa Rica’s civil aviation authority.
Horacio Rossi, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said: “This new international airport will go a long way to helping Costa Rica achieve its vision to further develop and improve its aviation services. The major infrastructure investment will also provide the additional capacity to support both export and tourism, as well as offer opportunities for local employment and skills development, especially during construction.”
Developing the masterplan for Costa Rica’s new airport builds on Mott MacDonald’s aviation presence in South America. The consultancy has delivered technical, commercial and management services to 29 airports in Central and South America over the last 15 years. Additionally, Mott MacDonald opened a new office in Bogotá, Colombia in 2017 to position itself closer to key clients in the region, supporting infrastructure improvements through public-private partnerships.