Introduction of Juan Santamaria International Airport
Juan Santamaría International Airport (IATA code: SJO, ICAO code: MROC) is the primary airport serving San José, the capital of Costa Rica. Located in the city of Alajuela, 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of downtown San José, this airport was once the busiest airport in Central America, but currently is ranked second after Tocumen International Airport in Panamá, and is the largest and busiest airport in Costa Rica.
SJO was Costa Rica’s only international gateway for many years, but nowadays there is also an international airport in Liberia, Guanacaste. Both airports have direct flights to North and Central America and Europe, with the difference that Juan Santamaría International Airport also serves cities in South America and the Caribbean.
SJO had experienced a constant increase in traffic since its opening in 1958, boosted by the growing flow of tourists. The passenger traffic reached more than one million passengers per year for the first time in 1991 and had a record number of more than 5.5 million passengers in 2019. Traffic movements reached its highest number in 2017, while freight (in metric tons) reached a peak in 2011, with 98,609 tons.