Costa Rica's first-ever general aviation terminal (GAT), named GAT SJO, at San Jose Juan Santamaría International airport is now fully open and exclusively available to business aviation operators. The GAT will operate under the name GAT SJO General Aviation Terminal.
Construction of the GAT began in April 2019, when Aeris Holdings selected GAT SJO, a consortium composed of Universal Weather and Aviation and local partners, to manage the new terminal. The facility will be part of the new domestic terminal at MROC (adjacent to the main commercial terminal), an infrastructure project which includes 15,260 square-feet. Universal Aviation Costa Rica is a member of Universal Aviation, the worldwide ground handling division of Universal Weather and Aviation.
“This is a historic day for Costa Rica and business aviation,” says Adolfo Aragon, Universal's senior VP for Latin America and Caribbean. “Private operators who have ever been to Costa Rica before should be prepared for a faster, better and more secure experience for private aircraft travellers.”
Features of GAT SJO include an exclusive VIP experience for private operators, onsite Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ), reduced ground time from plane to car, accessibility through your ground handler of choice, no co-mingling with commercial passengers and roof-covered access both roadside and rampside.
Upon deplaning, private passengers will be shuttled by their handling agents a short ride from the parking area to the GAT, which will have a dedicated space for CIQ. All private aviation ground handlers, as well as home-based operators (independent owners travelling international) at MROC, will be allowed to operate through GAT SJO.
Private operators will no longer have to clear formalities inside the airline terminal in potentially long lines, and passengers will no longer be separated from their baggage, which was previously mixed into commercial baggage carousels, adding more complexity to the operation and stress to the passengers.