Airport Begins Phase 1 of Major Expansion Project for South Side Terminal
Reina Beatrix Airport Begins Phase 1 of Major Expansion Project for South Side Terminal
Airlines July 22nd, 2011
Aruba’s enormously upgraded and attractive Universal Air Service terminal that opened a little over a year ago and serves private and business traffic, welcomed Prime Minister Mike Eman yesterday morning to announce the official commencement of Phase 1 of a 3-part expansion project.
Aruba Airport Authority CEO Peter Steinmetz explained the necessity of the expansion, and affirmed the success of the new facility which has precipitated a vast increase in private air traffic to Aruba since it opened, particularly from Latin America.
Presently, the terminal is handling anywhere from 10 to 15 arrivals and departures daily during non-peak periods, estimated one of their official personnel. During peak periods, such as Easter week or Christmas, these numbers increase to 50 to 70 flights daily, with easily 35 to 50 planes needing to be secured on the ground for those staying over during the holidays. Generally, most arrivals from Latin America are on small planes, and those from the U.S. are flights deploying the larger Lear jets.
Phase 1 is expected to cost 18,000,000 Arubian florins ($10, 285,714) and when completed in the projected 12 months, will add two new han gars to the private terminal, one of which will accommodate the 737 jets of Aruban-based airline Tiara Air, which will commence daily commercial service to the U.S. by the end of the year. The South Side Apron will be enlarged, allowing for more small planes to be tethered on the ground, fueling services from Valero will be enlarged and more efficient, and there will be a formalized security center.
Phases 2 and 3, which will include alternative runways for the private terminal and extension of the aprons, will eventually bring the upgrade costs to somewhere between 30 and 50 million Arubian florins, ($17,852,271 and $28,571,428.)
The upgrade of the Universal Air Terminal is being done in cooperation with Schiphol International B.V. Architectural firm for the project is BK Consult N.V.; the construction company is Van Kessel Havenbouw N.V., and electrical advisers are PIB N.V. Repre sentatives of the various participating parties were present for the “groundbreaking” ceremony, as well Myrna Jansen representing the Minister of Tourism, Transport and Labor Otmar Oduber; as was Jim Hepple, CEO of the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association.