29 May 2017

Aruba Airport Authority commences $200 million upgrade project to accommodate growing passenger traffic, high customer experience and sustainability goals

Aruba Airport Authority (AAA) has awarded a Design Consultancy contract to NACO, part of Royal HaskoningDHV, for the redevelopment and expansion of Aeropuerto Internacional Reina Beatrix which is currently at full capacity handling 2.6 million passengers on a yearly basis. The project will increase the airport's capacity and put it on the map as a state-of-the-art airport offering US Preclearance. The entire project is valued at some $200 million with construction starting in 2018.

NACO will provide overall design and development services for the airport’s expansion and redevelopment. As lead consultant the organization will head the design and tender process which are expected to be carried out over the next four years.

The project, Gateway 2030, is the first major increase in airport capacity since 2000. Currently operating at full capacity, passenger traffic of the airport, that has won awards in the last years, such as Routes Americas and the Airport Service Quality Award, has nearly tripled in recent years.

Improved passenger experience

The centerpiece of the redevelopment project will be the new and expanded check-in facilities, baggage system and upgrades of the screening process to full EDS TSA standards for US bound passengers. The new baggage system will also include a full sortation capability allowing non-US bound flights to check-in with US bound flights, thus improving efficiency and utilization of the airport’s capacity. With these new facilities, passengers will experience shorter queuing times and improved service levels during peak check-in times.

Automated passport control at Aruba Airport


Greener and more sustainable

To minimize the airport’s footprint on the environment, the project has been registered for a LEED Silver accreditation. This entails design features including green energy produced by solar panels. The design team will incorporate an automated building management system for lighting and cooling based on the occupancy. A solar study will determine the build-up of facades and roofs to avoid solar gain while maximizing day light for a pleasant passenger experience. 

Gateway 2030 is designed to address the airport’s capacity constraints, customer experience and sustainability in order to set the airport on a path of continued growth for the decades ahead. During the period 2017-2020 AAA is planning to invest a total of USD 300 million. “We are extremely excited to kick off this vital expansion project together with NACO to create an airport that Aruba will be proud of. We are confident that NACO’s expertise will ensure a greener and more user-friendly expanded airport that will especially enhance the US Bound passenger experience at Aruba’s only airport,” said AAA CEO Mr. James Fazio.

Once completed, passengers will also benefit from three additional contact gates and two bus gates allowing for quicker passenger handling to and from aircraft, a broader selection of retail and food & beverage outlets, improved passenger circulation space and amenities.

Paul Govaerts, Director at NACO said: “We look forward to continuing our long standing relationship with AAA. Our design team offers a combination of extensive global expertise and local knowledge to expand the airport, ultimately creating an enhanced passenger experience and boosting economic development in the region.”