International aviation infrastructure firm Mel Group has offered to finance construction of an international airport in Puerto Limon, a coastal town in Costa Rica home to about 60,000 people. The airport, which would be built in Saborio Matina, 25 kilometers from the port of Moin, would complement the Limon Seaport, a major sea route for cargo destined to North America and the Caribbean.
There is already an airport just south of Limon Seaport, but it is too small for international aircraft. It reportedly serves foreign tourists with chartered flights, giving access to the Caribbean towns of of Cahuita, Puerto Viejo, Gandoca and Manzanillo.
Mel Group has reportedly agreed to invest US$700 million in the venture, promising to complete the project in a span of three years. According to previous reports in the local press, the American firm has been pressing the government to accept the proposal for the past year.
With two major port terminals in Limón and Moín, Puerto Limón has long served as a major gateway for cargo moving in and out of Central America. The province is also popular with foreign tourists.
The proposed airport will have a 4-km long runway and a 30,000-square-meter terminal building. The Costa Rican government has reportedly agreed to review the offer along with another proposal made last year by Limon’s Chamber of Tourism.
In August last year, the American firm said the airport would boost the provincial economy, generating about 2,500 direct jobs and 8,000 indirect jobs.
Analysts say the airport would also improve the local quality of life as it would pave the way for the arrival of more foreign tourists.