Guanacaste Airport

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Guanacaste Airport

Guanacaste Aeropuerto
Liberia International Airport Main Building.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerGovernment of Costa Rica
OperatorCoriport S.A.
ServesLiberia, Costa Rica
Elevation AMSL269 ft / 82 m
Coordinates10°35′35″N 85°32′44″W / 10.59306°N 85.54556°W / 10.59306; -85.54556Coordinates: 10°35′35″N 85°32′44″W / 10.59306°N 85.54556°W / 10.59306; -85.54556
LIR is located in Costa Rica
Location in Costa Rica
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 2,750 9,022 Asphalt
Statistics (2021)
Passenger change 20–21Increase70.1%
Aircraft movements18,446
Movements change 20–21Increase82.7%
Source: AIP[1] DGAC[2] SkyVector[3] Google Maps[4]

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.


Main building interior, passenger check-in area.

The idea for an airport in Guanacaste Province was initially conceived during the government of Daniel Oduber Quirós (1974–1978).[5] The airport was initially named "Llano Grande", due to the name of the area that it was built in.[5] 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.[6]

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.[5] Also a firefighter station was added to comply with FAA and international regulations.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[9] Also in 2007 a new waiting area and airport counters were opened,[10] the airport was by then receiving more than 180,000 visitors yearly.[10]

Expanded terminal and new operator[edit]

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[11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Air Canada Toronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Montréal–Trudeau
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),[14] Orlando
JetBlue Los Angeles, New York–JFK
Seasonal: Boston
KLM Seasonal: Amsterdam
Sansa Airlines Nosara, Quepos, San José–Juan Santamaría, Tamarindo, Tambor
Southwest Airlines Denver, Houston–Hobby
Seasonal: Baltimore
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)[15]
United Airlines Houston–Intercontinental
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco
WestJet Toronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Calgary


Traffic figures[edit]

LIR passenger totals, 2000–present (thousands)
Source: Directorate General of Civil Aviation
Current domestic routes from LIR.
Current Europe routes from LIR.
Number of passengers Percentage change Number of movements Percentage change
2000 91,206 9,095
2001 87,145 Decrease04.45% 6,347 Decrease030.21%
2002 61,948 Decrease028.91% 6,467 Increase01.89%
2003 98,495 Increase059.00% 7,089 Increase09.62%
2004 203,823 Increase0106.94% 9,955 Increase040.43%
2005 303,171 Increase048.74% 12,754 Increase028.12%
2006 391,567 Increase029.16% 13,852 Increase08.61%
2007 423,327 Increase08.11% 14,592 Increase05.34%
2008 442,902 Increase04.62% 16,615 Increase013.86%
2009 396,188 Decrease010.55% 12,716 Decrease023.47%
2010 311,009 Decrease021.50% 11,720 Decrease07.83%
2011 539,610 Increase073.50% 11,695 Decrease00.21%
2012 668,762 Increase023.93% 13,005 Increase011.20%
2013 680,355 Increase01.73% 14,059 Increase08.10%
2014 779,757 Increase014.61% 15,366 Increase09.30%
2015 878,365 Increase012.65% 19,468 Increase026.70%
2016 1,146,163 Increase030.49% 20,758 Increase06.63%
2017 1,092,483 Decrease04.68% 21,037 Increase01.34%
2018 1,116,810 Increase02.19% 20,799 Decrease01.14%
2019 1,148,811 Increase02.87% 19,630 Decrease05.62%
2020 453,877 Decrease060.49% 10,096 Decrease048.57%
2021 771,989 Increase070.09% 18,446 Increase082.71%
Source: Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Costa Rica

Top international destinations[edit]

Busiest international routes to and from LIR (Jan. 2016 – Dec. 2016)
Airport Arrivals Departures Total 2015-2016 Carriers
1 Houston, United States1 151,602 147,711 299,313 Increase039.95% Southwest, United
2 Atlanta, United States 66,719 70,254 138,765 Increase00.15% Delta
3 Los Angeles, United States 66,971 70,254 134,623 Increase0402.19% Alaska, Delta, Southwest
4 New York City, United States 48,778 48,293 97,071 Increase033.36% Delta, Jetblue
5 Toronto, Canada 47,338 44,787 92,125 Increase07.88% Air Canada, Air Transat, Sunwing, WestJet
6 Miami, United States 44,183 47,153 91,336 Decrease021.99% American
7 Newark, United States 12,472 26,025 38,497 Decrease017.44% United
8 London, United Kingdom 15,592 14,593 30,185 Increase0 TUI Airways
9 Dallas, United States 13,774 14,594 28,323 Decrease027.90% American
10 Minneapolis, United States 13,608 14,013 27,621 Increase068.81% Delta, Sun Country
11 Chicago, United States 12,300 13,651 25,951 Increase025.39% United
12 Calgary, Canada 9,202 9,465 18,667 Increase01476.6% WestJet
13 Montreal, Canada 6,129 7,263 13,392 Decrease08.27% Air Canada, Air Transat, Sunwing
14 Panama City, Panama 5,245 5,897 12,194 Decrease08.63% Copa
15 Denver, United States 5,823 5,543 11,366 Increase071.82% United
Source: Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Air Transportation Statistical Yearbook (Years 2015,[16] and 2016[17]).

^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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ AIP - Part 3 Aerodromes Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ (in Spanish)Estadísticas de Transporte Aéreo: Período: 2019 y 2021
  3. ^ "Liberia/Daniel Oduber International Airport". SkyVector. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Aeropuerto Internacional Daniel Oduber Quirós". Google Maps. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Barahona, Hazel (1996-05-27). "Aeropuerto de Liberia aún no despega". La Nacion (in Spanish). Costa Rica.
  6. ^ Zúñiga, Alejandro (22 July 2021). "'Guanacaste Airport' is new name for LIR". The Tico Times. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  7. ^ Sánchez Quirós, Olger Rafael. "Historia del Cuerpo de Bomberos del Aeropuerto Internacional Daniel Oduber Quirós Liberia Guanacaste" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 11 September 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  8. ^ Mora, Emilia (1997-01-19). "Liberia despega". La Nacion (in Spanish). Costa Rica.
  9. ^ a b Rodríguez, Rebeca (2006-04-27). "Aeropuerto de Liberia con mayor espacio para aviones". La Nacion (in Spanish). Costa Rica.
  10. ^ a b Rodríguez, Rebeca (2007-03-23). "Gobierno inaugura obras en aeropuerto de Liberia". La Nacion (in Spanish). Costa Rica.
  11. ^ "ADC & HAS". Archived from the original on 2014-05-15. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  12. ^ Alvarado, Karla Arias. "At last, the new Liberia airport terminal opens for business". Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  13. ^ Madrigal, Karla (2016-12-06). "La Republica" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2016-12-06.
  14. ^ "Frontier Airlines More Than Doubles Its International Destinations from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport".
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ Anuario Estadístico de Transporte Aéreo 2015. Dirección General de Aviación Civil de Costa Rica
  17. ^ Anuario Estadístico de Transporte Aéreo 2016. Dirección General de Aviación Civil de Costa Rica

External links[edit]