Tuesday , January 31 2023

Dutch renovating airports in Caribbean Netherlands

The Rijkswaterstaat De­partment of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management I&W is busy renovating the airports of the Caribbean Netherlands. This is considered a special project, because the Minis­try of Infrastructure’s De­partment normally does not engage in aviation. More­over, this is considered a worldwide cooperation, Ri­jkswaterstaat is stating on its website www.rijkswaterstaat.nl.

Saba’s Juan­cho Yrausquin Airport

The renovations are neces­sary because the airports of the Caribbean Netherlands must comply with the rules of the International Organ­isation for Civil Aviation (ICAO). These rules apply to all Dutch airports.

By order of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Rijkswater­staat has built a new air-traf­fic control tower in Bonaire, which was officially commis­sioned in September.

The runway of F.D. Roos­evelt Airport in St. Eustatius has been renovated and the tender for the renovation of the runway at Saba’s Juan­cho Yrausquin Airport has just been announced.

Project Manager Rob Kroon explains how Rijk­swaterstaat has become in­volved in airport projects. The first time was during the renovation of Bonaire’s airport in collaboration with the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate ILT between 2010 and 2012. “We were involved because there was a need for our knowledge about contract management, tendering and project management. This cooperation went so well that we were asked by the Ministry of I&W to formally act as a face to the market for the renovation of the air­ports in the Caribbean Neth­erlands,” Kroon explains. Rijkswaterstaat still pro­vides knowledge about project- and contract-manage­ment, whereas the Ministry provides technical knowl­edge in the field of aviation.

According to Kroon, the biggest challenge of the proj­ect is the distance between the client and the various (lo­cal) market parties. For example, Netherlands Airport Consultant Naco designed the control tower for Bonaire, Van Boekel Zeeland Construction and Infra built the tower and the Canadian company Aeronay installed the traffic-control systems on behalf of the Dutch Caribbean Air Navi­gation Service Provider. All this happened in cooperation with airport management. Also during the renovation of the runway at Statia’s air­port there was a worldwide cooperation. The subcon­tractor who installed the asphalt, for example, came from Jamaica.

The renovation of the run­way on Saba has yet to start. The track is still made of as­phalt, but soon there will be a concrete strip. There will also be a platform for heli­copters. The Airport will be temporarily closed for reno­vations, according to Rijk­swaterstaat.

To inform the market Ri­jkswaterstaat will be making use of TenderNed as usual. But the standard methods in the Netherlands are not always sufficient for the Ca­ribbean Netherlands, and customisation is required. To inform the local market, for example, Rijkswaterstaat will be publishing tender no­tices in the local newspapers in three languages. Interested market parties may find more information on TenderNed. An information session will be taking place on Saba dur­ing the third week of January. Rijkswaterstaat will be us­ing standard contracts as much as possible, but here too there is room for cus­tomisation.

The Daily Herald.

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