Kralendijk – On Tuesday 13th, Minister van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) paid a visit to Bonaire International Airport (BIA). The delegation, consisting of the Island Governor of Bonaire, Mr. Rijna, DG Mobility I&W, Kees van der Burg and Coordinating Manager Caribbean I&W Marjan van Giezen, was informed by BIA about the challenges and plans that the airport has. For example, platforms have to be moved and expanded to meet international standards. Minister van Nieuwenhuizen indicated that the safety of aviation is the top priority for IenW, and IenW can make a financial contribution to this. The airport is also faced with an increasing number of flights and the terminal’s capacity is too limited to handle the large number of passengers. Another project of BIA is the replacement of the runway lighting as it is at the end of its life. In a presentation, the master plan with future developments to accommodate the growth in the number of flights and passengers was explained.
The visit ended with a tour of the airport. Minister van Nieuwenhuizen looked at the new expansion of the departure hall and was shown around the intended expansion locations from the master plan. The Bonaire fire brigade (BKCN) was also on the BIA platform with two crash tenders to explain their task at the airport. The task of BKCN is special because they are the fire brigade for the island as well as for the airport. Subsequently, the tool developed by NACO on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management was examined. This tool, which includes acoustic rain gauges and a calculation program, has been developed to calculate the amount of rain on the runway. BIA will soon be obliged to report the amount of water on the runway due to rain to pilots so that they can take this into account during take-off or landing.
The visit was concluded with the presentation of a runway lamp by the Minister to the COO of BIA, Onno de Jong, as a symbolic start of the project to replace the runway lighting. This project is being carried out under the direction of Rijkswaterstaat.