It was COVID that forced AUA Airport to start rethinking the execution mode of this ambitious project at the beginning of 2020.
AAA’s management under the supervision of the Supervisory Board decided to continue with the execution of and investment in the Gateway 2030 project, regardless of the COVID crisis. The improvement of the vital airport infrastructure will be a long-term asset. The COVID crisis, being a hard hit for Aruba, will be a temporary phenomenon. However, it has been decided that in the execution a phased approach will be followed. A phased approach will help to better control and manage the execution and will allow embedding new insights in the next phases during this multi-year project. Today, AAA publicly announces that the execution of the first phase will start, the so-called Gateway 2030 Phase 1A.
The Gateway Phase 1A will consist of:
- The construction of a new baggage hall.
- The implementation of a new baggage handling system.
- The expansion of the US Check-in hall, accompanied by
- The necessary airside and landside connections.
To support the Aruban economy in the best possible way it has been decided to execute this phase 100% locally. This means that a project venture of five Aruban contractors will jointly execute this first phase of Gateway 2030. A project venture of Albo Aruba NV, Bohama Aruba NV, Arubaanse Wegenbouw Maatschappij (AWM), Croon Caribe and CHS Technical Contracting and Trading Company N.V. has been selected to do the job and will work under the name ABC Project Venture.
“Gateway 2030 Phase 1A will make use of the latest technology and innovation to ultimately benefit our passengers, making their journey much faster, seamless and hassle-free. The use of biometric and self-service equipment in the check-in hall, paired with a ‘best in class’ baggage handling system will provide significant efficiency gains to the airport operations, all while adhering to the highest levels of safety, security and sustainability.” said Mr. Shensly Tromp, AAA Director of Development & Technology
The objectives of Phase 1A include:
- A touchless and seamless process at check-in.
- No need to recollect any baggage on the way to US Pre-clearance.
- The secondary screening will take place only for Selectee screening.
- Tail-to-Tail transfers: This will allow airlines to further reduce the connection times at their respective hubs.
- LEED Gold certification Phase 1A will ensure that the project is constructed and operated in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.
“During times of crisis, it is essential that the government and companies continue to invest in the local economy. With the start of the Gateway 2030 project phase 1A, an investment of 140 million USD will be made, and it will generate more than 200 jobs which is much needed during these hard times. Despite the many challenges this project will continue, and Aruba will have one of the best airports in the region,” said Aruba’s Minister of Tourism Dangui Oduber.
“As well-established companies on Aruba, we are very proud and grateful to be part of this project. Teamwork between AAA, our partners, and many other involved stakeholders made it possible for us to be where we are today.
With the combined resources, local expertise, and know-how of the ABC Project Venture partners, we can take on this challenging project. Not only will this project contribute to the continuity of our businesses, but will simultaneously create opportunities for many other subcontractors and suppliers and stimulate Aruba’s economy. With the realization of this project we will achieve another milestone on Aruba” said Gerco Rijkers representative of the ABC Project Venture.
The timeline for the Gateway 2030 Phase 1A will be groundbreaking in June of 2021. The first milestone will be reached in February 2023 where the Baggage Handling Building will be completed. The second milestone will follow in August of that same year (2023) when the completion of the check-in hall and the civil works will be completed. The complete Phase 1A project is set to be handed over by the ABC project Venture to AUA Airport in July of 2024.
“In the end, it all boils down to two of AAA’s strategic ambitions, namely contributing to the Aruban community and being the leading innovative airport in the Caribbean. Gateway 2030 Phase 1A with its economic spin-off, a LEED Gold ambition, and its state-of-the-art baggage handling system is a perfect example of how we give substance to these ambitions. The planning and designing phase is complete, it’s time to execute our ambitions. We are excited to make history together!” said AAA CEO Joost Meijs.