Curaçao International Airport

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Hato International Airport
Curaçao International Airport.. Curacao Airport Partners (C.A.P)
Curacao International Airport.jpg
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner Curaçao Airport Holding
Operator Curaçao Airport Partners
Serves Curaçao
Location Willemstad, Curaçao
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 29 ft / 9 m
Coordinates 12°11′20″N 068°57′35″W / 12.18889°N 68.95972°W / 12.18889; -68.95972Coordinates: 12°11′20″N 068°57′35″W / 12.18889°N 68.95972°W / 12.18889; -68.95972
Website curacao-airport.com
Map
CUR is located in Curaçao
CUR
CUR
Location in Curaçao
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
11/29 3,410 11,188 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Passengers 1,700,000 to 2,000,000
Freight (tonnes) 12,023
Movements 40,483
Source: DAFIF,[1] Zurich Airport[2]

Hato International Airport or Curaçao International Airport (formerly Dr. Albert Plesman International Airport) (IATA: CUR, ICAO: TNCC) is the airport of Willemstad, Curaçao. It has services to the Caribbean region, South America, North America and Europe. Hato Airport is a fairly large facility, with the third longest commercial runway in the Caribbean region after Rafael Hernández Airport in Puerto Rico and Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport in Guadeloupe. The airport serves as a main base for Insel Air and Divi Divi Air. It used to serve as a main base for ALM, KLM, DCA and DAE.

History[edit]

Curaçao International Airport, also known as Hato Airport or Aeropuerto Hato, is the international airport of Curaçao. The runway is 3400 meters long and 60 meters wide, suitable for all types of aircraft. The airport is located on the north coast of Curaçao, 12 kilometers from Willemstad. The airport serves as a hub for regional and international transport.

The airport was initially called Hato Airport, namesake to the nearby town of Hato. On Tuesday, January 5, 1954, the airport was renamed Dr. Albert Plesman airport. Plesman, director of the Royal Dutch Airlines for the Netherlands and Colonies, had died a few days earlier. Often it was spoken of Aeropuerto Plesman or Plesman Airport, unofficially also the name Hato remained in use till this day. Nowadays the official name is: Curaçao International Airport.

'It will be unnecessary to set out in detail, of which it is of paramount importance, that the Dutch aviation industry gets a firm footing in the vicinity of the Caribbean sea, where air traffic is now becoming more and more a factor of economic significance.' - Albert Plesman

KLM Douglas C-52 on Curaçao International Airport circa. 1952

With above argument in March 1934 Albert Plesman, director of KLM, hoped to receive financial support from the Comité Vliegtocht Nederland-Indië. It was a new plan to head to the West. In the 1920s it started to interest itself in the Barabbean region. Curaçao was developing itself in a beneficial way due to the presence of the oil refinery and a growing number of people were starting to choose the region with the purpose of vacationing. Aviation companies were paying close attention to these developments ad were researching if it was possible to create a connection between the United States, Curaçao and South America. The Westindische Gouvernement constructed a runway at the Hato plantation in Curaçao,

On December 22, 1934 the Snip plane arrived in Curaçao after an 8th day during trip with the route Amsterdam-Marseille-Alicante-Casablanca-Porto Praia-Paramaribo-La Guaria-Curaçao.

Hato was one of the most important and busiest airports in the Caribbean during the Second World War. The airfield was used by the US Air Force for patrols against submarines.

During the 1960s the 'Bestuurscollege' commissioned Netherlands Airport Consultants B.V. (NACO) to design a Master plan for the airport. This assignment was in connection with the expected arrival of the Boeing 747. The 'Jumbo' first flew on February 9, 1969.

Curaçao International Airport N.V. (Curinta) was founded in 1977 and operated the Airport until 2013. Its predecessor was the 'Luchthavenbedrijf', which was a department of the Government of Curaçao.

World War II[edit]

During World War II, the airport was used by the United States Army Air Forces Sixth Air Force conducting antisubmarine patrols. Flying units using the airfield were:

Detachment operated from: Dakota Field, Aruba, 9 March 1943 – 9 March 1944
Detachment operated from: Losey Army Airfield, Puerto Rico, 9 March-4 June 1944

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Canada Rouge Toronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Montréal–Trudeau
American Airlines Charlotte, Miami
Aruba Airlines Aruba, Bonaire
Avianca Bogotá
Condor Seasonal: Frankfurt (begins November 6th, 2018)[3]
Copa Airlines Panama City
Divi Divi Air Aruba, Bonaire
Fly All Ways Santo Domingo–Las Américas, Paramaribo
Insel Air Aruba, Bonaire, Paramaribo1, Sint Maarten
JetBlue Airways New York–JFK
KLM Amsterdam2
Sky High Aviation Services Santo Domingo–Las Américas
Sunrise Airways Port-au-Prince
Sunwing Airlines Seasonal: Toronto–Pearson
Surinam Airways Paramaribo, Port of Spain
TUI fly Belgium Seasonal: Brussels (begins June 15th, 2018)[4]3
TUI fly Netherlands Amsterdam4
WestJet Seasonal: Toronto–Pearson
Winair Aruba (begins 2 July 2018)[5], Bonaire (begins 1 July 2018)[6], Sint Maarten
Notes
  • ^1 Insel Air's flights to Paramaribo are operated by Fly All Ways
  • ^2 KLM's flights operate from Amsterdam to Curaçao via Sint Maarten on selected days. However, the airline does not have cabotage rights to transport passengers solely between Sint Maarten and Curaçao. The flight continues on from Curaçao to Amsterdam directly.
  • ^3 TUI fly Belgium's flights will operate from Brussels to Curaçao via Punta Cana. However, the airline does not have cabotage rights to transport passengers solely between Punta Cana and Curaçao. The flight continues on from Curaçao to Brussels directly.
  • ^4 TUI fly Netherlands's flights operate between Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao on selected days. However, the airline does not have cabotage rights to transport passengers solely between Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao.

Cargo[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Ameriflight Aguadilla, Aruba, San Juan
Amerijet International Aruba, Miami, Maracaibo
Aerosucre Bogotá
Liñeas Aereas Suramericanas Bogota
Vensecar Internacional Aruba, Caracas, Panama City, Santo Domingo-Las Américas

Coast Guard Air Station Hato[edit]

Located at the west side of Hato Airport there are hangars for the two Bombardier Dash 8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft and two AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard. This was until 2007 a naval airbase of the Royal Netherlands Navy who operated the base for 55 years. With a wide variety of aircraft in the past years Fireflies, Avengers, Trackers, Neptunes, Fokker F-27's, P-3C Orions, Fokker F-60's and several helicopters. After the political decision to sell all Orions the airbase wasn't needed anymore.

The west end of the airport is a USAF Forward Operating Base (FOB). The base hosts AWACS and transport aircraft. Until 1999 the USAF operated a small fleet of F-16 fighters from the FOB.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

External links[edit]