Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport

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Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport
Airport type Public
Operator Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport (JAPIA) Corporation
Serves Paramaribo
Location Zanderij
Elevation AMSL 59 ft / 18 m
Coordinates 05°27′10.19″N 55°11′16.02″W / 5.4528306°N 55.1877833°W / 5.4528306; -55.1877833Coordinates: 05°27′10.19″N 55°11′16.02″W / 5.4528306°N 55.1877833°W / 5.4528306; -55.1877833
SMJP is located in Suriname
Location in Suriname
Direction Length Surface
ft m
11/29 11,417 3,480 Concrete
Source: World Aero Data[1]

Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport (IATA: PBMICAO: SMJP), also known as Paramaribo-Zanderij International Airport, is an airport located in the town of Zanderij, 45 kilometres (28 mi) south of Paramaribo. It is the larger of Suriname's two international airports,[2] (the other being Zorg en Hoop with scheduled flights to Guyana) and is operated by Airport Management, Ltd./ NV Luchthavenbeheer.


Prior to World War II, Zandery Airport was a Pan American World Airways stop. After the fall of the Netherlands to German forces in 1940, the United States obtained military basing rights to the airport from the Netherlands government-in-exile in London. The first American forces arrived at the airport on 30 November 1941 and expanded the facilities to be a transport base for sending Lend-Lease supplies to England via air routes across the South Atlantic Ocean.

With the United States entry into the war in December 1941, the importance of Zandery Field increased drastically, becoming a major transport base on the South Atlantic route of Air Transport Command ferrying supplies and personnel to Freetown Airport, Sierra Leone and onwards to the European and African theaters of the war. In addition, antisubmarine patrols were flown from the airfield over the southern Caribbean and South Atlantic coastlines.

Major USAAF units assigned to the airfield were:

Detachment operated from: Atkinson Field, British Guiana, 1 November 1942 – 7 October 1943
Detachment operated from: Piarco Airport, Trinidad, 27 August-12 October 1943

Just before the Pearl Harbor Attack, on 3 December, the 99th Squadron was ordered to distant Zandery Field, Dutch Guiana (by way of Piarco Field, Trinidad) under an agreement with the Netherlands government-in-exile, by which the United States occupied the colony to protect bauxite mines. However, to the disappointment of the crews, the squadron had to leave its B-17 behind. It was, however, reinforced with additional B-18A Bolo's, bringing squadron strength up to six aircraft. On 2 October 1942, a B-18A, piloted by Captain Howard Burhanna Jr. of the 99th Bomb Squadron, depth charged and sank the German U-boat U-512 north of Cayenne, French Guiana.[3]

At Zandery, the unit shuttled from Zandery to Atkinson Field, British Guiana and, by January 1942, had eight Curtiss P-40C Warhawks assigned. The P-40s were, in actuality detached for airfield defense by the Trinidad Base Command, under which the 99th fell at the time. [4]

The intensive flying of the first two months of the war soon took its toll, however, and by the end of February 1942, the Squadron was forced to report that it had but three B-18A's operational at Zandery and that " .... none of them are airworthy at this time." Apparently the unit was quickly reinforced and by 1 March strength was back up to six aircraft, and seven combat crews, all of whom had more than 12 months experience.

Operations From Zandery Field consisted of coastal, convoy and anti-submarine patrols until 31 October 1942. Just prior to which time the 4th Antisubmarine Squadron was attached to the Squadron between 9 and 16 October. At this point Antisubmarine Command took over the mission of the 99th and the men and aircraft of the squadron were reassigned.

With the end of World War II Zandery Airfield was reduced in scope to a skeleton staff. It was closed as a military facility on 30 April 1946 and turned over to Dutch authorities which returned it to a civil airport.

Planned Modernisation of JAP 2012–2015[edit]

The state will invest an extra US$70 million in expanding and modernizing the J.A. Pengel airport. US$28.5 million has been invested so far in the airport's modernization. For the time being, the arrival lounge, commercial center and parking lot have been handed over, while the runway has been repaved, the platform for planes has been renovated, the runway lights on the arrival side have been replaced and a backup system for electricity has been installed as well. Pinas says the project, which was prepared during the previous administration, is insufficient to actually turn the airport into an international hub. The departure and arrival lounges are currently apart from each other, but plans are to connect them by 2014 with airbridges. Lights must be placed on the departure side of the runway, and the platform should be expanded to accommodate more planes. The fire department barracks will be moved to a more central location. Plans are to have the airbridges installed in 2014, when Suriname will host the next UNASUR heads-of-state meeting, while the other matters must be finished by 2015.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


As of May 2013, the following passenger airlines operate at the airport

Airlines Destinations
Caribbean Airlines Port of Spain
Insel Air Curaçao
KLM Amsterdam
Surinam Airways Amsterdam, Aruba, Belém-Val de Cans, Cayenne, Curaçao, Georgetown-Cheddi Jagan, Miami, Port of Spain


Airlines Destinations
ABX Air Miami
DHL Air Georgetown-Cheddi Jagan

Incidents and accidents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Airport information for SMJP at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
  2. ^ "DAE forces SLM to provide ground handling services in Zanderij". Willemstad: Curaçao Chronicle. 3 June 2013. Archived from the original on 14 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "B-18 sinks U-512." Retrieved: 17 May 2010.
  4. ^ * Conaway, William. "VI Bomber Command In Defense Of The Panama Canal 1941 - 45". Planes and Pilots Of World War Two. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]