Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR)
Liberia International Airport
|Owner||Government of Costa Rica|
|Serves||Liberia, Costa Rica|
|Elevation AMSL||269 ft / 82 m|
Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Daniel Oduber Quirós) (IATA: LIR, ICAO: MRLB), also known as Liberia International Airport, is one of four international airports in Costa Rica. It serves especially as a tourism hub for those who visit the Pacific coast and western Costa Rica. The airport is named for Daniel Oduber Quirós, who served as president of Costa Rica from 1974 to 1978.
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".
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.
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.
|Air Canada Rouge|| Toronto-Pearson|
|Air Transat||Seasonal: Montréal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver (begins December 18, 2019)|
|Alaska Airlines||Los Angeles|
|American Airlines||Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York-JFK (begins December 21, 2019)|
|Copa Airlines||Panama City|
|Delta Air Lines|| Atlanta|
Seasonal: Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul
|JetBlue|| New York-JFK|
|Sansa Airlines||San José-Juan Santamaría|
|Southwest Airlines||Baltimore, Houston-Hobby|
|Sun Country Airlines||Seasonal: Dallas/Fort Worth (begins June 13, 2020), Minneapolis/St. Paul|
|Sunwing Airlines|| Montréal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson|
Seasonal: Edmonton, Regina
|United Airlines|| Houston-Intercontinental|
Seasonal: Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Newark
Daniel Oduber Quirós International airport is the country's second and Central America's sixth busiest airport. In 2016, Liberia International Airport reported 1,146,163 passengers, a 30.5% increase
|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|
|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||Denver, United States||5,823||5,543||11,366||71.82%||United|
|15||Panama City, Panama||5,245||5,897||12,194||8.63%||Copa|
|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.