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Juan Santamaría International Airport

Juan Santamaria International Airport
Airport information
Airport typePublic
OwnerGovernment of Costa Rica
OperatorAeris Holdings Costa Rica under ADC & HAS and Andrade Gutiérrez Concesores
ServesSan José, Costa Rica
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Heredia, Costa Rica
Cartago, Costa Rica´
Elevation921 m
Passenger Movement3620786

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Juan Santamaría International Airport ( ) is located in Alajuela about 20 km (12.4 mi) from downtown San José, Costa Rica. It is a hub airport for TACA/Lacsa, and focus city airport for Copa Airlines. It is named after Costa Rica's national hero Juan Santamaría, a courageous drummer boy who died in 1856 defending his country against forces led by US-American filibuster William Walker. The airport, which is Costa Rica's primary international airport, serves a great number of tourists from Canada, Europe and the United States. There are three other international airports in the country, but of those only the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste is served by major airlines. Currently, Juan Santamaría with 4.1 million passengers, is the second busiest airport in Central America after Tocumen International Airport in Panamá.

The airport's main runway allows for operations of large, widebody aircraft. Currently some scheduled flights are operated with Airbus A330 and A340, and Boeing 747 and 767, for both passengers and freight. A Concorde landed in the year 1999 for that year's airshow. The airport's major airlines are TACA/Lacsa with its international network and TACA's subsidiary Sansa for domestic flights. The airport has also a small hangar (called the "NASA" hangar) where they keep research aircraft that operate in Costa Rica. Among the most relevant aircraft operated from this hangar is the WB-57F high altitude aircraft.

The Costa Rican government charges a $26 USD departure fee, which can be paid in cash (U.S. dollars or equivalent in Colones) or may be paid by Credit Card. The fee can be paid at the airport or in advance at most hotels and banks.

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