Curacao International Airport

History of Curaçao International Airport

Curaçao International Airport

For more information about the Hato Airport of Curacao, click here

Curaçao International Airport is the primary airport in Curaçao and is also known as Hato International Airport. It is on the north side of Curaçao and is just 12 km away from the Willemstad. The Curaçao International Airport has one of the longest runways in the Caribbean that can accommodate B747 aircraft. The other two airports with the longest runways in the Caribbean are Rafael Hernández Airport< > and Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport< >. It connects Curacao to Europe, America, and the Caribbean.

This airport is safe, comfortable, and well-managed. It also has a General Aviation Center, which offers premier services to exclusive travellers in a luxurious separate building. It also has a commercial plaza in front of the terminal building, which offers a variety of duty-free food and beverages.

Arrival Airport Hato Curacao
Arrival Airport Hato Curacao

Many airlines offer direct flights to this airport, and it has a very busy flight schedule from Miami, Amsterdam, Panama, Bogota. Some other major flight operations include Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, Caracas, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Maarten, and Santo Domingo.

History of Curaçao International Airport

This airport has a very unique and interesting history. Curaçao International airport was formerly known as Hato airport, and it was named after a nearby town, Hato. The name of the airport was changed to Dr. Albert Plesman airport on 5th January 1954. It was also known as Aeropuerto Plesman or Plesman Airport In the 1950s.

In 1920s, Curaçao became the point of interest for everyone. Due to the presence of the refinery, Curaçao was developing itself in a profitable way, and a growing number of people were choosing the region for the purpose of holidays. The aviation companies were paying close attention to these developments and were investigating, if it was possible to create a link between the United States, Curaçao, and South America. Finally, in 1920s West Indies Governments built runways at Hato Plantation in Curaçao.

The Hato Airport was amongst the most valuable and most active airports in the Caribbean during World War II. The airport was even was used by the US Air Force to patrol against submarines. In the 1960s, a master plan was made to renovate this airport, and it was because of the arrival of the Boeing 747. The ‘jumbo’ took its first flight in 1969. From 1977 to 2013 the airport was operated by Curaçao International Airport N.V. (Curinta).

It would be necessary to elaborate, the significance of which is that the Dutch aviation industry has a strong foothold on the Caribbean Sea, where air traffic is becoming a factor of economic importance.

Airport Expansion Projects

Curaçao Airport Partners (CAP) is responsible for the airport’s management, expansion, and enhancement projects. It has a 30 years long contract with Curaçao’s Govt, from 2003 to 2033. And as a private operator of the airport, they have taken many financial, operational, and development risks.

CAP is doing a great job, and before them, it was under the control of the Government of Curacao and was losing millions of dollars annually. Nowadays, Curacao International airport is amongst the top earner airports in Caribbean and is making millions of dollars that go straight to the Government. CAP also has some very beneficial future plans for the airport.

Here is the list of some major expansion projects.

  • In 2014, the Check-In area and airport boulevard were expanded.
  • In 2016, the Terminal Expansion Project was started. With that Inauguration of Arrivals Hall and food & beverages stores was also held. A special area for Families, kids, and airport employees, was also allocated, where they can have a clear overview of the surroundings.
  • The SPANTENBIER of the expanded eastern part of the terminal is another important milestone in the Airport Expansion Project.

Currently, an estimated 1.9 million people travel through this airport per year. In front of the passenger terminal, there is a large parking lot, and you can even rent a car outside the airport, as there are many car rentals shops available such as ‘Just Drive Curacao’. <>

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