|Owner||Government of Costa Rica|
|Serves||Liberia, Costa Rica|
|Elevation AMSL||269 ft / 82 m|
Guanacaste Airport, known before as Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Daniel Oduber Quirós) (IATA: LIR, ICAO: MRLB), and also known as Liberia International Airport, is one of four international airports in Costa Rica. It is 11 kilometres (7 mi) west-southwest of the city of Liberia in Guanacaste Province, and serves as a tourism hub for those who visit the Pacific coast and western Costa Rica.
The idea for an airport in Guanacaste Province was initially conceived during the government of Daniel Oduber Quirós (1974–1978). The airport was initially named "Llano Grande", due to the name of the area that it was built in. It would later be named "Aeropuerto Tomas Guardia," and the last name it received is that of ex-president Daniel Oduber Quirós, in honour of his work for the province of Guanacaste. However, most people call it "Liberia International Airport", and in 2021 the name was changed to Guanacaste Airport for branding purposes.
In October 1995 the airport was re-inaugurated as an international airport. To support this expansion of operations, the pavement on the runway was redone and special landing lights were installed. Also a firefighter station was added to comply with FAA and international regulations. Initial response from commercial airlines to the expansion was timid; however, after one year the airport went from having only one weekly charter flight to one almost every day.
In 2006, to manage increased demand of the airport, the government and local tourism chamber boards set aside funds to increase the parking capacity of the tarmac from five to eight airplanes, and for the construction of a parallel taxiway. However, the government made it clear that the solutions were only temporary and that a private company would need to be contracted to expand and operate the airport in the future. Also in 2007 a new waiting area and airport counters were opened, the airport was by then receiving more than 180,000 visitors yearly.
Expanded terminal and new operator
The government of Costa Rica awarded CORIPORT, S.A., a 20-year concession to design, finance, construct and operate a new terminal building and its associated landside facilities, as well as approximately 36,000 m2 (390,000 sq ft) of airport land currently occupied by the existing terminal and associated facilities. CORIPORT's shareholders include MMM Aviation Group, Emperador Pez Espada S.R.L., Inversiones Cielo Claro LTDA, Cocobolo Inversiones S.R.L., and ADC&HAS Airports Worldwide who is also the project's operator.
The new terminal building, encompassing approximately 23,000 m2 (250,000 sq ft), features a contemporary design that both increases efficiency and capacity over the existing facility. Construction started on 19 October 2010; the terminal opened on 12 January 2012. Further expansion of the terminal commenced in January 2017 and was completed in November; the expansion adds capacity for the airport to receive 5 new airlines.
Airlines and destinations
|Air Canada|| Toronto–Pearson|
|Air Transat||Seasonal: Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson|
|Alaska Airlines||Los Angeles|
|American Airlines||Austin, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami|
|Delta Air Lines|| Atlanta|
Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul
|Edelweiss Air||Seasonal: Zurich|
|Frontier Airlines||Atlanta (begins December 17, 2022), Orlando|
|JetBlue|| Los Angeles, New York–JFK|
|Sansa Airlines||Nosara, Quepos, San José–Juan Santamaría, Tamarindo, Tambor|
|Southwest Airlines|| Denver, Houston–Hobby|
|Sun Country Airlines||Seasonal: Dallas/Fort Worth, Minneapolis/St. Paul|
|Sunwing Airlines|| Toronto–Pearson|
Seasonal: Calgary, Edmonton, Montréal–Trudeau
|TUI Airways||London–Gatwick (ends March 4, 2023)|
|United Airlines|| Houston–Intercontinental|
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco
|Source: Directorate General of Civil Aviation|
|Number of passengers||Percentage change||Number of movements||Percentage change|
|Source: Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Costa Rica|
Top international destinations
|1||Houston, United States1||151,602||147,711||299,313||39.95%||Southwest, United|
|2||Atlanta, United States||66,719||70,254||138,765||0.15%||Delta|
|3||Los Angeles, United States||66,971||70,254||134,623||402.19%||Alaska, Delta, Southwest|
|4||New York City, United States||48,778||48,293||97,071||33.36%||Delta, Jetblue|
|5||Toronto, Canada||47,338||44,787||92,125||7.88%||Air Canada, Air Transat, Sunwing, WestJet|
|6||Miami, United States||44,183||47,153||91,336||21.99%||American|
|7||Newark, United States||12,472||26,025||38,497||17.44%||United|
|8||London, United Kingdom||15,592||14,593||30,185||TUI Airways|
|9||Dallas, United States||13,774||14,594||28,323||27.90%||American|
|10||Minneapolis, United States||13,608||14,013||27,621||68.81%||Delta, Sun Country|
|11||Chicago, United States||12,300||13,651||25,951||25.39%||United|
|13||Montreal, Canada||6,129||7,263||13,392||8.27%||Air Canada, Air Transat, Sunwing|
|14||Panama City, Panama||5,245||5,897||12,194||8.63%||Copa|
|15||Denver, United States||5,823||5,543||11,366||71.82%||United|
|Source: Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Air Transportation Statistical Yearbook (Years 2015, and 2016).|
^1 United flies to Houston-Intercontinental Airport, and Southwest flies to Houston-Hobby Airport. The data here is for traffic between LIR and all airports in Houston.
- AIP - Part 3 Aerodromes Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
- (in Spanish)Estadísticas de Transporte Aéreo: Período: 2019 y 2021
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- "Frontier Airlines More Than Doubles Its International Destinations from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport".
- "TUI dejará de volar a Guanacaste a partir de marzo de 2023, pero seguirá promocionando destino de Costa Rica". November 26, 2022. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
- Anuario Estadístico de Transporte Aéreo 2015. Dirección General de Aviación Civil de Costa Rica
- Anuario Estadístico de Transporte Aéreo 2016. Dirección General de Aviación Civil de Costa Rica