|Local air travelers being snagged by
By Gabriela Vega Barrantes
and the A.M. Costa Rica
Operators of two local airports have been under investigation since
last year because they have instituted their own landing fees for
passengers, according to the Dirección General de Aviation Civil.
The government agency disclosed these facts as a reporter sought
information on landing fees at domestic airports.
One of the operators under investigation is Aeródromo Agua
Milagrosa in La Fortuna de San Carlos where the landing fee is $7 a
person and the exit fee is also $7. The airport receives many tourists
who seek to see the nearby Arenal volcano and enjoy the thermal waters.
The Dirección General de Aviation Civil said that the airport
operator was not authorized to charge any fees.
The landing fees are not a secret. Nature Air, a firm that conducts
many of the domestic flights, lists in its terms and conditions the
airport near Arenal as a place where air travelers will be charged $7
The airline also says that $2.30 or the colon equivalent is charged
coming and going in Tambor and that in Quepos the fee is $3 each way.
Guiselle Cortes Mora, who responded to questions on behalf of Enio
Cubillo Araya, director general of the aviation agency, said that the
operator at Tambor on the Nicoya peninsula was authorized only to
charge $1 and that the operator of the Tamarino airport was approved to
charge $1.54. The
A.M. Costa Rica photo
Arenal landing and exit fee was $42 for
charges are for an arrival and for an exit. These
were the only approved charges, she said.
La Managua in Quepos was the second airport
under investigation in
2014, she said. Ms. Cortes did not address the progress of the
investigations, but she did say that a penalty could be termination of
the airport permit.
Travelers who leave the country at Juan
Santamaría airport in Alajuela or Daniel Oduber
in Liberia are
required to pay a $29 departure tax, but this levy is established by
The Dirección General de Aviation Civil
has a complex formula that
includes maintenance. depreciation and the number of passengers that is
used to establish the authorized landing fee.
Travelers, either Costa Ricans or foreign tourists, seem to be unaware
of the ad hoc nature of the landing and exit fees. Ms. Cortes
there had been no complaints this year.
The fees add up. One vacationer reported that three family members paid
$21 as a landing fee and the same amount to leave the Arenal airport
a total of $42.
The terminal gets its
name because it is on Avenida 7 at Calle 10.
A.M. Costa Rica/Jesús
|New bus terminal in Paso de la Vaca
By Jesús Bermúdez Vargas
and the A.M. Costa Rica
San José will have a new, modern bus terminal in the area known
as Paso de la Vaca on Avenida 7. The grand opening is scheduled for
The terminal went up in an area that has been a haven for the homeless
and those with an alcohol or drug problem. The municipality plans to
have more police officers as well as private security to safeguard
passengers including tourist who travel to central Pacific beach areas.
The investment was more than $10 million. The structure has three
stories with a common area and places for stores.
A boulevard connects Avenida Segunda and Avenida 7. There already is an
asphalt roadway that was reduced from two vehicle lanes to one.
|The terminal will host
bus companies such as Transportes Jacó,
Transportes Cóbano, Empresa Alfaro, la 400 Heredia, and
buses that connect with Managua, Nicaragua.
The location was picked to avoid those traffic jams in peak hours
downtown and reduce, in some cases, the number of bus stops in San
site is south of the restored Botica Solera and near the old Gran Cine
Líbano, which is now an auto parts store.
Workmen were putting the finishings touches Wednesday on a security
fence around the property and a sign on the southwest corner.
Before the terminal contractor broke grounds, the sprawling lot was the
home to open-air mechanics and a lot of garbage. Adjacent storefronts
were empty and used for sleeping by the homeless.