Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport Flying High on Journey to Sustainability

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Queen Beatrix International Airport (Aruba Airport) facilitates a diverse air service network, a varied choice of commercial services and pleasant airport experiences through sustainable, safe, secure and reliable airport operations & facilities for all airport users contributing to a prosperous future for Aruba.

In 2022, Aruba Airport Authority N.V. (AAA), the company that manages and operates Aruba Airport has begun its journey with Green Globe to achieve independent certification for sustainable operations and management.

Aruba Airport is well advanced with its sustainability initiatives and seeks to gain independent validation. In preparation, four of AAA’s staff members have already graduated from the Green Globe Academy after successfully completing the Sustainability Leadership for Tourism Professionals Training Course. Aruba Airport already has significant environmental and community development projects underway and aims to complete certification by the beginning of 2023.

CEO Aruba Airport Authority N.V. Joost Meijs says, “As one of the leading airports in the region, our vision is to become one of the most Sustainable, Safe and Future Proof airports in the Latin American & Caribbean region. We have defined four pillars as part of our strategy in which Sustainability and social responsibility play an important role and Green Globe Certification aligns perfectly with our vision towards building a sustainable company.

“We aim to become the first airport in the Caribbean and hopefully the first in the world to be Green Globe Certified paving the way as a leader in sustainable operation and management of our airport,” added CEO Meijs.

Airport Carbon Accreditation Level 2

Aruba Airport has been part of the Airports Council International’s (ACI) Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) for the last four years and has taken numerous actions in favor of the environment. Airport Carbon Accreditation is the only global, airport-specific program that certifies airports’ efforts to manage and reduce carbon emissions. It is the ideal program for Aruba Airport to support Aruba becoming inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable while taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, according to goals #11 and #13 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Airport Carbon Accreditation Level 2, (known as Reduction Level) highlights Aruba Airport’s efforts to measure, manage and reduce its carbon footprint. These efforts include the replacement of all lights with LED lighting, the placement of electrical timers in and around the airport terminal and the introduction of more efficient air conditioning equipment, amongst other initiatives. Aruba Airport is working closely with third parties to reduce wider airport-based carbon emissions and in doing so aims to achieve accreditation Level 3 (Optimisation) by 2022.

Roadmap to Sustainable Dutch Caribbean Inter-Island Air Transportation

In April of 2021, Aruba Airport together with the 5 other commercial airports of the Dutch Caribbean signed a Cooperation Agreement that formalized the Dutch Caribbean Cooperation of Airports (DCCA). An important vision of DCCA is achieving sustainable, stable and affordable air connections by adapting its airport infrastructure where possible and based on the needs of inter-island airline operators.

DCCA has agreed to work together to organize a Sustainable Air Transportation event between Dutch Caribbean Islands to take place in November 2022 in Aruba, organized by Aruba Airport Authority N.V.. This event will be a crucial first step towards igniting discussions on new air travel business models including passenger handling experiences, competitive prices and convenient air connection for both airlines and passengers. It is an important moment to exchange information, share knowledge and expertise. A successful joint venture of this caliber will stimulate island hopping tourism, labor markets, health services and social networks in the Dutch Caribbean without harming the planet.

Wings of Hope

Wings of Hope” (WoH) took off on June 1, 2020 with the sole purpose to assist and support around 70 families in great need due to the current pandemic. In 2021, WoH focused its efforts on five of the United Nation’s SDGs: No Hunger, Education, Affordable and Clean Energy, Environment/Sustainable Airport Community, and Partnership. Several projects were undertaken including provision of food vouchers to families in need, school materials and uniforms for students as well as coverage of school tuition fees. In addition, an “Energy Champion” competition where the winning school received AWG 20,000 to complete their sustainable plan was organized, along with support for a nursery for the Luna Foundation that rescues street dogs and strays and raises awareness in regard to spaying and neutering. For 2022, WoH’s goals focus on: No Hunger, Education, Awareness, Environment/Sustainable Airport Community, and Partnership. The purpose is to continue contributing to the Aruban community through various projects and making a difference towards a more sustainable future for all.