The Daily Herald announced today that the airports on all three BES islands, Bonaire, Statia and Saba, will be the subject of a thorough renovation starting in 2015.
Yesterday a team of engineers, specialists and project managers from the Netherlands visited Saba to meet with local contractors and with Island Commissioners Chris Johnson and Bruce Zagers to discuss renovations of Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport. The three airports are currently not completely up to International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) safety standards. For Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, work is scheduled to commence halfway through 2015.
Apart from the renovation of the runway, work is planned on the fence surrounding the airport and a bigger cistern for the airport fire department will be realised. Furthermore a new light installation will be constructed which makes the airport accessible 24 hours per day.
The flight information safety officers (FISO) received new communication equipment just a few weeks ago and plans are underway for installing new meteorological equipment with help from the Dutch meteorological institute (KNMI).
Another part of the project which is to be realised next year is the flattening of a hill which is right next to the runway, this to further improve flight safety. The Dutch team members are confident that flight schedules, as well as medical transports will proceed as normal during the renovations. Only minor inconveniences will be noticed by the public.
The initiator of this renovation project is the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment. The companies Netherlands Airport Consultants B.V. (NACO) and Van Boekel Zeeland B.V. have joined members of the Department of Rijkswaterstaat (National Water Management) for the actual realisation. Their goal is to work together with local companies as much as possible. Saba was the last stop on their three-island tour. First they visited Bonaire and after that St. Eustatius. The team’s priority lies in the renovation of the F.D. Roosevelt Airport (St. Eustatius) which will commence in the beginning of 2015.