The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and Rijkswaterstaat have signed a contract with the combination Saba Roads and Construction and Den Ouden Aannemingsbedrijf for the renovation of the runway of Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport on Saba. The contractor was selected after a bidding process executed by Rijkswaterstaat.
The project includes the realisation of a helicopter platform at the end of the apron, resurfacing the runway with concrete, adjusting the airfield ground lighting and renewing several pavement markings. The execution of the project is scheduled in the lowest travel season, from September 10 until October 9.
During that time the airport will be closed for commercial traffic. Medical helicopters will still have access to the airport for emergency flights.
The Public Entity has been in close contact with the Saba Health Care Foundation and Health Insurance Office ZVK to make sure medical transport is not hampered by the closing of the airport. Also, additional and alternative ferry services are being discussed to ensure accessibility of the island while the airport is closed.
“The period of September 10 to October 9 was chosen as this is the lowest travel season of the year,” said Commissioner Bruce Zagers. “‘This runway renovation is badly needed and closing the airport cannot be prevented. However, by choosing this period, we make sure that the impact on our economy, which is for a significant part dependant on tourism, is kept to a minimum.”
As this period coincides with the peak of the hurricane season, precautions will be made to minimise the risk of hurricane damage and to ensure accessibility for helicopters at all times. Strict requirements in the contract for this project should limit the risk of a delay.
On October 9 at 6:00am, the airport is scheduled to re-open in time for the first flight of that day.
The Daily Herald.