Aruba's first experience with the aviation world was 74 years ago. On
July 24, 1925 the first Hydro-aircraft "IDOR" landed in the Paardenbaai
harbour of Oranjestad.
The former Lt. Governor Mr. H.E.G. Wagemaker of Aruba presented the
first plans for the construction of an airport for the island in 1933.
The area designated for this project was the area at the south coast
named "Dakota" (Wayaca). The landing of the first tri-engine Fokker
aircraft "Snip" occurred on December 23, 1934 at Savaneta. In 1935 Aruba got its first airport "Dakota", named after a former
first scheduled flight between Aruba and Curacao was performed on
January 19, 1935 by
KLM's "Snip". In this same year 2659 passengers were transported between
the two islands.
1937 an Air-traffic Radio Station was founded and at the same time this
would be the first passenger
handling building on the island. From 1935 up to 1940 Aruba was
connected internationally by air
travel with Barbados, Trinidad, Maracaibo, Paramaribo, Miami, La Guaira
(Maiquetia) and Lisbon.
1942 Aruba got its second (and bigger) airport building that was
inaugurated the 4th of June 1942 but
because of the World War 2 during 1942, the US Air Force established a
base in Aruba. In
this same year construction started for a new terminal building at the
south side of the runway.
second terminal building was finally inaugurated on March 18th, 1950.
cost 8 Million guilders. Two years later in 1952 the first fire trucks
were stationed at the airport and the
runway was somewhat extended. On October 22, 1955 the "Dakota" airport,
was renamed after princess
Beatrix of the Netherlands. The opening ceremony was presided over by H.R.H.
Furthermore, during this same year the old terminal building was changed
into the airport fire department garage.
February 27, 1957 the first Turbo-Prop aircraft landed in Aruba.
Therefore, in 1959 preparations started for
the extension of the runway to accommodate the soon to come "Jet
(Note: because of this extension some of the beach where today the start
of runway 11 is, had to be land filled)
April 10 , 1964 the extension of the runway was finished and it was
finally able to receive these Jet Aircrafts.
Consequently the first two Jet landings in Aruba were: Jet
Clipper "Aruba" of the Pan American Airways and the
Henry Dunant of the KLM.
year later in 1965 the ground breaking for the construction of the third
terminal building took place.
present terminal building (arrival) was inaugurated on November 8th,
1996 a new parallel taxiway was constructed along runway 11/29. This was
an important addition for
the soon to come expansion of the Queen Beatrix Airport thus alleviating
air traffic congestions.
(Before this taxiway all aircrafts had to wait for landing a/o departing
aircrafts before taxiing for take off)
1997 the ground breaking took place for the construction/renovation
project named "Beatrix 2000". The
first phase of the project was completed and inaugurated on September 1,
plans were to make the airport (pictured above) into this (pictured
project was completed in the 3rd quarter of the year 2000.
"practically new" airport building was renovated and extended about 5
times the size from the one
originally finished in 1972. this brought a lot more traffic to the
airport as well. On a typical day you may see 8
jets at a time (sometimes more) and some turbo props at the south side
of the apron.
sure a big difference compared to those first few years in the 1930's
Concorde in Aruba? Yes, and here's the info and picture to prove it!