The international airport in the Caribbean island of Aruba has seen passenger numbers nearly triple in recent years. It is being upgraded to handle more passengers more comfortably while also increasing sustainability. The expansion comprises more than 30,000 m2 of refurbished and new buildings.

Reduced queues and better service for passengers

The upgrade at the Reina Beatrix International Airport is the first major increase in capacity since 2000. A key challenge was to improve the entire passenger experience, reducing queues, providing more shops and restaurants and enabling quicker access to and from aircraft, as well as streamlining pre-clearance for passengers bound for the United States. New and existing buildings have therefore been connected to optimise flows, both during and after construction.

High standards

The upgraded building is aiming for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver accreditation. To support this ambition, Royal HaskoningDHV’s structural design team reused existing structural elements in the new design. An additional challenge was to make the new buildings future ready and able to withstand hurricane and earthquake impact. This had not been a feature of existing structures so strengthening measures were designed for these buildings.

Visualisation of designs

A weekly update showing 3D visualisations based upon the integral BIM model was shared with the client and future users. It helped stakeholders understand the impact of choices made and follow progress. It also enabled the client to be closely involved in the design process, despite being situated on the other side of the globe.