UK consulting engineer Mott MacDonald has delivered the masterplan for a $3.5bn international airport in Alajuela, Costa Rica, for the Centro American Corporation of Air Navigation Services (COCESNA).
Mott conducted a year-long feasibility study, forecasting a demand of 7.8 million passengers at the airport during its first year of operation in 2027, rising to 20 million in 2047 and 50 million long-term.
A rendering of the completed airport (Casa Presidencial)
To support additional passenger numbers, the study recommends the expansion of Route 27, a key link between San José, Costa Rica’s capital and Puntarenas, a port city 96km west.
The study also advised construction of a new highway in Alajuela, the second-largest city in Costa Rica, connecting the cities of Pozon de Orotina and San RamÃ³n.
Motts also recommend a new train route running the 66km between Orotina and San José.
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."
Mott developed the masterplan as part of an integrated team which also included local consultant FSA IngenierÃa y Arquitectur and US architect Gensler.
The project will replace the country’s Juan Santamaria International Airport in San José, which will be unable to meet passenger demand beyond 2026.
Last month Mott MacDonald opened their first office in South America.
Work on the project is expected to begin next year and be completed in 2027.