Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport, also known as Liberia International Airport, is located in Liberia, in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. The airport is named after the first Costa Rican president Daniel Oduber Quirós. It is the second busiest airport in the country and the ninth busiest in the Central America area.
The airport serves the growing tourism market in the north-west of Costa Rica. It has an annual passenger traffic of 550,000. Its 07/25 2,750m x 45m asphalt runway can handle flights and aircraft the size of Boeing 747-400, 737-800, 757-200 and Airbus A340-600.
The country has three other international airports - Limón International Airport, Juan Santamaría International Airport and Tobías Bolaños International Airport.
Airport location optimised for generating tourism revenue
Costa Rica largely depends on revenue, foreign direct investment and employment generated from tourism. Liberia International Airport serves as a gateway to the Costa Rican Riviera and is a hub for Western Costa Rica and Pacific coast travellers.
The airport is located in proximity to hotels and resorts of the Papagayo Gulf including Hilton Papagayo, Four Seasons Papagayo, JW Marriott Hacienda Pinilla, Occidental Papagayo, RIU Guanacaste, Westin Playa Conchal and Tamarindo Diria.
The airport's geographical location offers the most favourable conditions all through the year.
Developing the international 'gateway' near the Gulf of Papagayo
Daniel Oduber International Airport has a surface area of 243ha. It was first opened in 1975 to promote tourism in the Gulf of Papagayo. Called Tomas Guardia Airport, it had a 1,216m x 30m runway, a small terminal and two hangar areas.
A new master plan for the airport was developed by Dixon Speas Company in 1975. The General Council for Civil Aviation (DGAC) and the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) began development of the airport in 1976.
A prefabricated passenger terminal was built in 1977. The next year illumination systems were installed to handle night flights. In 1986, the terminal underwent minor renovations. In 1989, the runway was extended by 500m to handle Boeing 747-200.
The airport was developed to international standards with a new terminal building, control tower and aircraft parking facilities in 1995. It was reopened as the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport. By 2002, the runway was expanded to 2,750m with upgraded instrument landing system, modern navigational equipment and experienced traffic growth.
A new aircraft parking area for large and private aircraft was developed in 2003, and it was expanded in 2005. The existing terminal was expanded by about 30,000 square metres.