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As of 2006, there were 157 airports in Costa Rica. That may sound like a lot but when you start looking at the specific uses and capabilities of the airports, you'll see why the government wants (and needs) to build a new international airport in Costa Rica. Take a look

- There are 157 airports in Costa Rica.

- A majority of those airports are designed for private use.

- Only about 32 of the airports in Costa Rica actually have paved

- Two dozen or fewer of Costa Rica's airports are serviced by regional airlines.

- Only two Costa Rica airports have the capacity to handle international flights.

The need for a new international airport in Costa Rica is clear. With all of the nation's international traffic from corporations doing business in Costa Rica, foreigners traveling on vacation, and investors looking to own a piece of the Rich Coast being funneled through one of Costa Rica's two international airports, the strain on those international airports is too great. Travelers feel the strain too, especially those headed to Costa Rica's South Pacific coast for their final destinationIt's a 3 hour drive!

As a way to meet the needs of both the nation and those visiting, investing, or doing business in Costa Rica, the government has decided to build a third international airport in the Southern Pacific coast region. The airport, which it's rumored will be built near Sierpe, will provide much needed access to popular Southern Pacific coast destinations such as Palmar Sur, Quepos, Dominical, and the Peninsula de Osa.

Making Costa Rica's Southern Pacific coast more accessible will benefit everyone. For tourists, increased accessibility will mean more time vacationing and less time traveling to and from vacation spots. For those looking to invest in Costa Rica real estate, it means that the land value in the Southern Pacific coast is about to shoot through the roof. It also means major profits if they buy low and then sell high once interest in Southern Pacific coast real estate and traffic to the region increases. As for corporations, a new international airport is bound to entice more businesses and more people to live in the region, which will be attractive to foreign employers looking to recruit expatriates.

The actual effects that a third international airport have on Costa Rica's Southern Pacific coast won't really be able to be measured until airport construction has been completed; Currently, it's predicted that won't be until 2012. Still, if the outcome is anything like the economic boon Costa Rica experienced when the Northern Pacific coast's Liberia International Airport began operating, only good things are to come for the Southern Pacific coast.

by David Lovendahl

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