Aruba Airport Authority: project Gateway 50% executed

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(Oranjestad)—Yesterday, Aruba Airport Authority (AAA) held a press conference to give updates about project Gateway 2030. During this press conference, the minister of Tourism and representatives present visited the construction site.

Before stepping on to the construction site, the minister and the executive director of AAA Joost Meijis, along with the project team and press were all given safety vests from the Project Management Office (PMO), who is also involved in the realization of project Gateway 2030.

The director of development and technology at AAA, Gilbert Rafeal, was accompanied by the PMO team consisting of Mr. Henry Balentin, Sr. project director; Mr. Gerard Turk, resident engineer and Mr. Gerko Rijkers. Representatives from the ABC Project Venture contracting company provided the minister with information on the recent updates in the project during the course of Phase 1A and the schedule to complete this project on time.

Concerning the other phases of the project, basic components of each phase has been expanded upon and explained.

“We are happy and proud to present Minister Oduber with the latest advancements of project Gateway 2030, which is now in its first phase of development. The goal is to complete this first phase by the third trimester of 2024, and begin the next phase in that same year,” Joost Meijs stated.

Phase 1A of the project—which has been ongoing for a year and a half now— primarily includes the expansion of the building for U.S. check-ins. In the future, this area will become the main check-in terminal for all outgoing travelers.

According to Rafael, Phase 1A consists of approximately 200 employees working on the site, including those from the AAA, the contractor company, and other parties that either directly or indirectly work on this phase.

This phase also includes the development and installation of baggage handling systems and the new zone for luggage preparations.

Phase 1B includes the expansion of the current gate 8 area and the creation of two waiting rooms that will be connected to three contact gates and one embarking gate. At the same time, Rafael also mentioned that they have also considered the matter of sustainability as part of their strategy. Infrastructures for solar panels and reusable rain water for bathrooms are among the few factors they have implemented in the project as a way to achieve this.

The next phases in the project are already in the process of evaluation and will be included in the project. This includes, for example, a new concession area where all gates for American flights are connected, new installations for arrivals and the extension of the service area at the terminal.

Minister Oduber expressed that they have been given extensive information on the project. He also announced that project Gateway is already 50% in its execution phase, where they are currently keeping up with planning in order to complete the project on time.

Minister Oduber has assured that Phase 1A of the project is an investment of 143 million dollar. After this, they will continue with Phase 1B, Phase 2 and Phase 3. As the minister stated, “this project is very important for our tourism and our economy, keeping in mind the limitations in capacity that we are currently experiencing, as well as the increase in hotel rooms from hotels that are currently in construction. This is why it is also necessary that we amplify our airport and ensure good infrastructure to comply with the wishes of our guests.”

At the same time, he pointed out that this project is being executed by local contractors, which can be an example for other local contractors to pursue more projects.