Flamingo Airport

"Doorstep to Paradise"

Don't blame us:
This is what
thinks a flamingo looks like

In March 2007, KLM announced that they would move their hub operations from Curaçao Hato Airport to BIA, Bonaire International Airport. The decision was made possible because, after work on improving airport landing facilities had been progressing for years, Flamingo Airport's runway could now handle Boeing 747s. This was because of KLM's disputes with ALM and follow-up DCA. However, not everybody was enthusiastic. Algemene Rekenkamer government accounting watchdog published a devastating report on cost overruns; and worse.

In the long run, Bonaire may be stuck with a white elephant like Newfoundland's Gander. The new generation long-range jets can fly directly from Amsterdam to South American destinations without needing a refueling stop in Bonaire.

It gets worse.
On 5 February 2008, a very negative report on Flamingo Airport was published by Dutch department of Waterstaat [roughly, infrastructure]. The department even disqualified it as an international airport.
Naturally, BIA resented this. The very next day manager Richard Hart declared that the airport was assayed by ICAO and complied with all requirements. Other authorities, USA-based FAA and European EASA all have different rules.
BIA operations manager Laplace adds that many international airlines have audited Flamingo, all with positive results. There has never been an accident caused by unsafe situations. A cynic may remark that this is not so surprising as the volume of operations really is very low.
Hart does admit that Flamingo does not comply with the European rules and that 'all airports on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius' would have to close once these islands effectively become parts of Holland.

Schiphol May Become Partner
One week later Hart indicated Amsterdam Schiphol Airport may be interested in participating in Flamingo/BIA. Schiphol has a cooperation agreement with Aruba Reina Beatrix Airport and may also be taking over Alterra's shares in Curaçao's Hato/Curinta.
In 2011, only five or six years after the airport's complete overhaul,
a new renovation of the Flamingo landing strip had been finished.
Cost €12 million.
May it last longer this time

Flamingo Airport

Curaçao International Airport
The story of Curaçao Hato Airport

Curaçao Island


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