The Juan Santamaría International Airport is situated in Alajuela around 20km from San Jose. It is named after a National Hero of Costa Rica, Juan Santamaría.
It is Costa Rica’s chief airport providing tourist services to the US, Europe and Canada. It acts as a hub for TACA/Lacsa international network and for Sansa domestic network. It also has a small NASA hangar for research aircraft.
The airport has ten gates, eight of which are with jet ways. The airport can house seventeen commercial airplanes at any given time. There are three waiting rooms on the 1st floor for regional flights, along with a VIP room.
Major international airlines include Air Canada, Air Panama, Paradise Air, United Airlines and US Airways. Aeromexico and Aladia are the prime charter airlines. Atlas Air, Aerounion, Gemini Air Cargo and MasAir are some of the major cargo airlines.
Since 1997, a project to renovate and expand the airport is underway and a new Sansa terminal is expected to be ready by the end of 2008.