Juan Santamaría Airport Restarts International Commercial Flights


Juan Santamaría International Airport (AIJS) is now opened for the return of commercial operations as of this August 1st, with the reopening of air borders.

The restart of commercial flights will be carried out under new and strict sanitary measures established in a protocol that AERIS (airport administrator) worked with the Government authorities:

 General Directorate of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Health; as well as with the participation of the airlines.

The protocol regulates the adaptation of airport operations for a safe way of traveling, where passengers and AIJS workers are protected.

These guidelines are temporary and will be reviewed periodically, during the pandemic by COVID-19.

“We are ready and these are the first steps of a great start to restore the confidence that passengers needs when traveling, from their arrival and passing through the Juan Santamaría International Airport.

The reopening of commercial flights is taking place under the synchrony of the authorities, the airport administrators and the airlines so that we all have a successful return,” said Rafael Mencía, Executive Director of AERIS.

Among the measures applied by AERIS, both in the international and domestic terminals are:

1. Use of mouth covers or masks throughout the stay at the airport and its terminals.

2. Placement of disinfecting carpets at the entrances to the AIJS terminals.

3. Enabling stations for hand washing on international departures.

4. Placement of sanitizing stations in all common areas of the airport.

5. Increase in the frequency of cleaning and disinfection in high-traffic areas (service counters, door handles, armrests, handrails, water sources, elevators, etc.).

6. Special protocol for cleaning and disinfecting the areas intended for the care of suspected cases of COVID-19.

7. Constant cleaning and disinfection of luggage trays and trolleys in terminals, pay stations in parking lots, internal buses, self-check kiosks, toilets and baby changing tables.

What aspects should be taken into account when arriving in the country?

1. Tourists entering Costa Rica from destinations such as Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union must have a PCR test and a negative result 48 hours prior to the trip.

2. Acquire travel insurance that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and medical expenses for acute illness.

3. The airlines must inform passengers, with final destination Costa Rica and prior to arrival in the country, that they must complete the form known as the Health Pass, as well as the mandatory use of masks during their passage through the terminal.

4. Body temperature measurements will be carried out on all passengers and they must pass through disinfecting rugs.

5. Once the Migration process is finished, signs are available to distance the travel bubbles around the baggage carousels until continuing with the Customs and State Phytosanitary Service processes.

What should be taken into account when leaving the country?

The airlines will provide you with the following recommendations:

1. Online checking facilities to make processes more efficient.

2. Arrival time at the airport at least 3 hours before departure time or 4 hours for long-haul flights.

3. Disposition of sinks before entering the terminal.

4. Only international passengers will enter the lobby of the international terminal.

5. The use of masks is mandatory.

6. Temperature measurements, with thermal cameras, will be carried out on the bridges of access to the lobby.

7. Upon entering the international terminal, sanitizing stations and carpets will be available.

8. Once the passenger enters the lobby, they will carry out the airline check-in process at self-check kiosks or at passenger service counters.

 If the passenger completed the process online (and does not have checked baggage) they can go directly to the Migration sector.

9. Preventive signage will be present in the passenger journey to Migration and security filters.

10. In boarding rooms the use of the seats will be limited; In case of travel bubbles, they can use all of the seats.

11. The airline will establish procedures to organize the boarding process for Small groups (10 passengers), starting with passengers at the rear of the plane. Passengers waiting to board should do so sitting in the boarding room.

“From Civil Aviation we have had close communication with the health authorities,  AERIS, the airlines, institutions involved in this reopening process, and with officialsthat have worked on the protocols, whose main objective is to ensure the application of all the sanitary measures and to guarantee to the passenger the security inside the airport.

The fundamental aspect within this new normality is to recover the confidence of those who visit us”, indicated Luis Miranda, Deputy Director of Civil Aviation.

In the event that a passenger, user or collaborator of the airport fails to comply with any directive, the Airport Police will be informed to contact the person and proceed as established by authorities.

“We prepared ourselves in the right way to ensure a successful and safe return for passengers and collaborators. We wish to continue connecting Costa Rica with the world and thus contribute to the economic reactivation of the country”, concluded Mencia.

Other measures will be applied in shops and transport services. All operators of Juan Santamaría International Airport, including shops such as food and beverages, retail, Duty free and passenger services, must comply with the security measures requested by the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica. Among the special conditions are:

1. Product tastings or courtesy samples will not be allowed in the establishments.

2. The row areas will be demarcated with distances of 1.8m between each person.

3. The use of contactless cards will be promoted to make the corresponding payments.

4. The common areas must be at 50% of their capacity, respecting the distance.

At the present moment, the operation of commercial services at both terminals will be governed by scheduled operations.

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