The Palmar Sur Airport operating normally
by Nick Halverson
After almost twelve months and $2 million+ of upgrades and changes, the Palmar Sur regional airport and terminal is now open again. The improvements include a complete resurfacing, widening, installation of lights and extending the runway, and increasing the terminal size from 750 ft2 to over 5,000 ft2, for tourism-related offices.
Daily commercial flights started back up in early July, and the terminal building just opened the second week of August. I've been flying in and out of Palmar Sur since 2005. During this time a second major renovation for the airport took place.
The continuous improvement shows a tremendous commitment by the Costa Rica government to tourism and, in particular, to the Osa region. Following the Palmar Sur airport reconstruction, the renovations of the Drake Bay and the Puerto Jimenez regional airports were completed in the past twelve months.
Up until 2009, we used the word "airport" or "terminal," however, it was simply an open-walled building, no safety fencing and typically a bunch of nervous travelers. When entertaining clients, it was always a bit uncomfortable to send them off via the airport, but it was the most efficient mode of transportation back to San Jose. Remember, until 2009 the Costanera Highway was not paved between Dominical and Quepos, and just that 25-mile stretch of drive could take up to three hours.
There have been many changes since first using Palmar Sur airport in 2005. It is easier to travel throughout Osa and other parts of Costa Rica now with more paved roads, and it is a better travel experience. We can have a philosophical discussion whether it is "better than before" over a cup of coffee if you're interested. However, the residents and Costa Rica government feel it is in the best interest of their people, and I, for one, am happy to see the enhancements.