Flamingo International Airport

Flamingo International Airport

Infobox Airport
name = Flamingo International Airport Bonaire International Airport
nativename = Bonaire International Airport

type = Public
owner = Government
operator = Bonaire International Airport N.V.
city-served = Bonaire
location = Kralendijk, Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles
elevation-f = 20
elevation-m = 6
website = [http://www.flamingoairport.com/index.asp?page=12&lang=2 www.flamingoairport.com]
metric-rwy = y
r1-number = 10/28
r1-length-m = 2,880
r1-length-f = 9,449
r1-surface = Asphalt
footnotes =

Flamingo International Airport or Bonaire International Airport Airport codes|BON|TNCB is an international airport located at Kralendijk, Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. Flamingo Airport serves as a connecting point for flights of KLM to some destinations in South America. It once served as a hub for BonaireExel, BonaireExpress,CuraçaoExel, CuraçaoExpress & Dutch Antilles Express and now "EZAir" serves Bonaire as it's main airline, although the airline itself is based at Curaçao. It is the 3rd largest airport in the Netherlands Antilles behind St.Maarten's Princess Juliana International Airport & Curaçao's Hato International Airport and is the 4th largest between the islands of the Dutch Kingdom behind the already mention St. Maarten, Curaçao & Aruba's Queen Beatrix International Airport. Arkefly, Continental, Delta & KLM are currently the largest airline operators that operate flights to Bonaire.


Bonaire's first airport was located near Tra'i Montaña Subi Blanku and walked across the current path of Kralendijk to Rincon. It was only a landing strip and a shelter. It was built in 1936 and is considered the place that is the beginning of aviation on Bonaire.History of Flamingo Airport on the airports [http://www.flamingoairport.com/index.asp?page=32 official website] , visited on 16 June, 2008]

The construction work for this airport, began on September 23 1935. The intention was to make a longer runway, but it proved impossible to see the more than 475 meters to make because the eastern portion of the land was very low. Part of the field had to be modified, in particular where the plane hitting the ground at the landing and rising. This area covered more than 100 metres from the runway which had to be paved with a mixture of sand and stone.

KLM decided on May 9 1936 to take the risk to fly the first flight to Bonaire from Curaçao. The Oriol (Fokker F-XVIII "Snip), was chosen for this test. The first experimental landing was successful and also a historic moment. Therefore KLM decided to make the first official flight with passengers and was scheduled to be performed on May 31 1936.

American soldiers arrived on Bonaire in the second half of 1943 and their commander stated that a new airport had to be built. In December 1943 construction began in the vicinity of where the present airport now stands. The new airport, named "Flamingo Airport", was put into use in 1945. This was a big step forward for Bonaire and its aviation system. A small was building that was suitable for the number of passengers at the time. This building was used until mid 1976.

The construction of a new runway began in the last months of 1953 and was completed in 1955. The small airport had been extended with a terrace where luggage could be delivered. The runway was extended and expanded several times. In 1960, the runway had a length of 1430 meters and a width of 30 meters. Hotels and interested parties on the island continued to push for a further extension of the runway so that charter flights from the United States were able to land here. Those flights were often performed with DC8 or B707 aircraft. In 1970 the runway was extended to 1750 meters long and 30 meters wide, enough for a DC9 to land and take-off with full load. On June 7 1974 suggested a public tender for the construction of a new terminal building. The building became operational in 1976. Meanwhile, hotels and foreign investors continued to insist that the runway be extended further. This was needed before any more hotels could be built. In 1980 the runway was again extended to 2400 meter long and 45 meters wide, and in 2000 another extension resulted in the current length of 2880 meter to facilitate the largest airliners on intercontinental flights.
Dutch carrier KLM started in 2002 using this airport to refuel planes en route from Amsterdam to Peru or Equador

Airport information

The first Bonaire-Miami flight took place on April 19 1980, possible since the runway extension of that year. The current runway of 2880 m. is long enough for flights to Europe with a maximum take-off weight. KLM began with flights to Peru and later to Ecuador with a fuelstop on Bonaire in 2002. In recent years, the facilities at the airport have been modernized and expanded. There is a new departure hall, a new platform for wide body aircraft and a fuel farm was also added. Today Flamingo Airport is a full service stop for transit flights and the destination for many tourist flights, with air-conditioned offices, restaurant, departure hall & stores.The airport registered a more than 10% increase in passengers in the first quarter of this year (2008). March was a record month and the increase has a lot to do with the Delta and Continental Airlines flights. Compared to the same period last year also the local passengers increased by 10.6%. International traffic increased by 8.8% which is breakthrough for the airport for Bonaire.

The Airport has two main ramps in which the larger one is used for wide bodied aircraft such as KLM & Arkefly, but the ramp is also used by Continental Airlines and Delta. It was also used by Air Jamaica, before they halted their operations to Bonaire. The management of the airport is currently working on the apron to allow two wide-bodied aircraft to park alongside each other, with the use of pushback cars, when ready for departure. The smaller ramp which is situated in front of the airport building is naimly used by smaller operating aircraft such as, DAE, Divi Divi, EZAir and Insel Air, along with the larger Delta, Continental & Arkefly aircaft when the larger apron is in use by another large aircraft. at the beginning of the runway, lies the Genreal Aviations ramp, where mostly Private aircraft are located.

Since November 2005, visitors and tourists arrving at Bonaire are welcomed to a vibrant new Business and Tourism Showcase. A variety of colorful murals, vivid flat-panel displays, and high profile sponsored windsurfing sails will showcase all that the island of Bonaire has to offer. Pennsylvania-based Interspace Airport Advertising, through its subsidiary Interspace Airport Advertising Curacao, N.V., created the new terminal-wide advertising display program. Interspace will also manage the program through a 10 year partnership with the airport authority. [http://www.designtaxi.com/news.jsp?id=837&monthview=1&month=1&year=2007 Bonaire Business and Tourism SHowcase]

Since May 2008, Bonaire International Airport (BIA) has started with the renovation of the parking places at Flamingo Airport. The airport introduces short- and long-term paid parking. Financial manager Gerard Chin-A-Lien indicated that the project is going to cost $2.1 million. Most of this money is going to be spent on paving, installations of the automatic parking system, landscaping, and lighting. This service official started on 5 September, 2008.The first 15 minutes parking is going to be free; 2 guilders for each hour; and after four hours, 1 guilder with a maximum of 20 guilders per day. Long parking costs 10 guilders per day. According to security manager Tico Wanga, a lot of attention is paid to safety with sufficient lights and cameras everywhere, and patrolling security personnel.

Future plans

It is planned to expand the current airport building as more airlines and tourists come to Bonaire. It is also planned to expand the current Departure & Arrival hall of the airport to meet the standards of the amount of tourist that will be visiting the airport in the coming years abd to repairthe airport's runway after certain speculations that the runway had a crack in it. According to The Dutch Transport Minister, Camiel Eurlings, he calculates that it will cost about €20 million (euro) (57 million guilders) to rapair Bonaire's worn-out Flamingo International Airport runway. Since Bonaire is going to be the responsibility of the Netherlands, including ownership of the airport, it must comply with the European standards, which are much stricter than the ICAO standards. Recently, the worldwide civil aviation authority conducted an audit on all of the airports within the Dutch Kingdom (including the rest of the Netherlands Antilles & Aruba) and said that they are just within standards. "Regarding the condition of the airport of Bonaire, there is no need to panic, there is no acute danger, only overdue maintenance. the runway needs heavy renovations and the people of Bonaire need a vital airport," Concluded Eurlings. [http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=nl&u=http://antilliaans.caribiana.nl/politiek/car20080417_flamingo-TK&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=2&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3DCamiel%2BEurlings%2BBonaire%2BAirport%26hl%3Den Bonaire Airport renovation plans and costs (translated from Dutch)]

The management of the airport is currently in the process of drawing up a master plan to comply with international requirements. There are three important projects planned which include:
#Maintenance of the runway (as mentioned above)
#Moving the fire station to the middle of the runway
#Purchasing two push-back cars for the heavy jets (One already arrived and parked at the General Aviations ramp)The management is working very hard to make sure that the Bonaire International Airport is as safe as possible and this way could welcome the aircraft that come to Bonaire and contribute to the growth of the tourism on the island.

Airlines and destinations

These are the present airlines that operate flights to Bonaire [http://www.infobonaire.com/airlineinfo.html Airlines Operating flights to Bonaire] [http://www.flamingoairport.com/destination.asp Destinations to Bonaire] :

Divi Divi Air, Dutch Antilles Express, EZAir, Insel Air & KLM are the most operating airlines on Bonaire.

*Arkelfy serves Bonaire weekly on Saturdays, using its Boeing 767 aircraft from Amsterdam. And most recently, Arkefly has added a second flight on Thursdays from its hub in Amsterdam.
*Divi Divi Air serves Bonaire daily with 9 flights a day from Curaçao.
*Dutch Antilles Express serves Bonaire daily through several destinations in the Caribbean & South American areas with some stops in Curaçao.
*KLM serves Bonaire daily via its Amsterdam, Quito-Guayaquil routes.
*American Eagle serves Bonaire 5 days a week from San Juan and starting daily flights on January 9 2008. But recently, due to high fuel costs, American Eagle has reduced its flights to three times a week. [http://www.redorbit.com/news/business/1411103/american_airlines_american_eagle_cut_flights_to_caribbean/ American Eagle cuts Flights to the Caribbean]
*Continental Airlines serves Bonaire twice a week on Saturdays & Sundays with continual seasonal flights being added [http://www.cdnn.info/news/travel/t060731.html Continental flight from New York/Newark to Bonaire] [http://www.cdnn.info/news/travel/t050627.html Continental flight from Houston to Bonaire] .
*Delta Air Lines flies weekly from Atlanta to Bonaire on Saturdays since February 9, 2008 and is discussing the idea for different seasonal flights depending on the interest for Bonaire. Delta also announced its most recent added route which will be the JFK-Bonaire route, which will begin on December 20, 2008, making this Delta's second non-stop flight to Bonaire. They have also changed the aircraft type from a B737-800 to a B757-200 for its Atlanta flight and will use a B737-800 for the coming New York flight. [ [http://news.delta.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=11119 Press release for JFK-Bonaire] ]
*E-Liner Airways operates daily commuter flights from Curaçao along with other options for cargo, sightseeing, day tours & chartered flights to Aruba, Curaçao, Colombia, Venezuela & other destinations in the Caribbean using their fleet consisting of Piper Aircraft.
*Insel Air serves Bonaire from its home base of Curaçao with 3 daily flights.
*Tiara Air serves Bonaire from its home base of Aruba with 4 weekly flights and twice on Fridays and Sundays.
*EZAir (Kinikini Air Express) has just begun operations with its 5 flights a day and flies between Bonaire and Curaçao , with charter flights to Aruba & Las Piedras.
*Venezuelan start-up, Rainbow Air has just begun to serve Bonaire on Fridays and Sundays from Caracas (a route ones served by Transaven, which has temporarily stopped its operations) using L410s.
*Caribair serves Bonaire with continuous Charter flights from the Dominican Republic using Saab 340s.
*AIRES, a Colombian airline, which operates Dash 8 aircraft, is in the progress of aqcuiring rights to fly from their Baranquilla hub to Bonaire.

Here is a full list of the airlines, their place of origin & aircraft type that serve Bonaire:

*Air France-KLM
**KLM (Amsterdam, Guayaquil-Quito) "B747-400^, MD11"
*American Airlines
**American Eagle (Executive Air) (San Juan) "ATR42-320^, ATR72-212, -500"
*Continental Airlines (Houston-Intercontinental, Newark) "B737-700, -800"
*Caribair (Santo Domingo) "L410, Saab 340"
*Delta Air Lines (Atlanta, New York-JFK [begins December 20] ) "B737-800, B757-200"
*Divi Divi Air (Aruba [starting soon] , Curaçao) "BN2, C402B"
*DHL Bonaire (cargo) (Caribbean) "C208B"
*Dutch Antilles Express (Also known as DAE) (Aruba, Bogotá, Caracas, Curaçao, Santo Domingo, St. Maarten, Valencia) "ATR42-320, -500, F100"
*E-Liner Airways (Aruba, Curaçao) [charters, sightseeing, cargo, daily commuter flights & day tours] "Piper PA-31, Piper PA-34"
*"EZAir (Kinikini Air Express)" (Curaçao) "BN2, Piper PA-31"
*Insel Air (Aruba, Curaçao) "EMB110, MD83^"
*"Rainbow Air" (Valencia) "L410"
*Tiara Air (Aruba) "SD360"
*"Transaven" (Venezuela) "L410" [one currently parked at Bonaire without titles] [airline currently halted operation]
*TUI AG Airlines
**Arkefly Bonaire (Amsterdam) "B767-300"

^ Previously operating aircraft

Connection Airlines

Along with the airlines that serve Bonaire directly, there are also some other airlines to which one could fly to connect to Bonaire or from other destinations such as Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten. Here is the list of airlines that serve Bonaire as connection flights from other destinations with the destinations from which they serve the island and also the island that one could fly to, from Bonaire to connect with these airlines:

**Curaçao: Caracas
**Aruba : Caracas
*Air Canada
**Aruba: Toronto-Pearson
**St. Maarten: Toronto-Pearson [seasonal]
*Air Jamaica
**Curaçao: Kingston, Montego Bay
*American Airlines
**Aruba: Boston [seasonal] , Miami, New York-JFK
**Curaçao: Miami
**St. Maarten: Miami, New York-JFK, San Juan
**Aruba: Bogotá/Barranquilla, Bogotá, Medellin
**Curaçao: Bogotá
**Curaçao: Port of Spain
**St. Maarten: Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, San Juan, Tortola
**Aruba: Amsterdam
**Curaçao: Amsterdam
*US Airways
**Aruba: Boston, Charlotte, New York-La Guardia [seasonal] , Philadelphia
**St. Maarten: Charlotte, Philadelphia

Previous Airlines

During the years, the Bonaire International Airport has been served by many airlines from different parts of the world. But at times the airlines either decide to stop their flights that serve Bonaire for their own personal reason or the airline goes bankrupt. These are some of the airlines that used to operate to Bonaire:

*"ABC Commuter" "DHC6 Twin Otter"
*Air ALM "DC9, DHC8-311, FH-227, MD80, Shorts-330"
*Air Aruba "DC9, EMB120, MD80, YS-11
**Miami Air International/Miami Heat (operated by "Air Aruba") "B727-200"
*Air Jamaica (Montego Bay [ended March 8] ) "A320, A321, MD80"
*Amerijet International (cargo) "B727-200Freighter"
*Avensa "DC9"
**Servivensa "B727-200, DC9"
*Canada 3000 "A320"
**Air Canada (operated by "Canada 3000") "A320"
*Dutch Caribbean Airlines "DC9, DHC6 Twin Otter, MD80"
**Dutch Caribbean Express " DHC8-311"
*ExelAviationGroup [Now known as Dutch Antilles Express "(DAE)"*/Arkefly^]
**ArubaExel "ATR42-320"*
**BonairExel/BonaireExpress "ATR42-320"*
**CuraçaoExel/CuraçaoExpress "ATR42-500"*
**DutchCaribbeanExel "B767-300"^
*Linea Turistica Aerotuy "DHC7"
*Martinair "B767-300"
*Merlin Airways (cargo) "Metro III"
*Sobelair "B767-300"


"Flamingo International Airport" operates a Non-directional beacon on 321 KHz

General aviation facilities


Apart from the passenger terminal Bonaire Airport has facilities for freight and mail.Catering is available since "Goddard Catering" opened an airline kitchen on the island in 2003 offering complete airline catering. The Aruba kitchen uses ready-made imported frozen hot meals and locally made salads and appetizers. [Catering details taken from [http://www.flamingoairport.com/index.asp?page=29 Airport website] ]

Ground handling

Three local ground handlers operate at Bonaire airport.
*"Bonaire Air Services", which is the ground handling agent for DAE, Continental Airlines and Air France-KLM. It was also the agent for Air Jamaica prior to their discontinued flight to Bonaire. [http://www.bonaireairservices.com/ Bonaire Air Services]
*"Air Handling Service Bonaire", which is the ground handling agent for most Cargo Services.
*"Progressive Air Service", which is the ground handling agent for Tiara Air, Transaven, Rainbow Air and is currently in the works to offer ground handling for Divi Divi, EZAir and Insel Air.


Aviation Jet A1 fuel is available 24 hours a day via "Valero Bonaire Fuels Co N.V.", owned by Valero Energy Corporation. On-site capacity of the tank-farm consists of two storage tanks of 630.000 gallons each. Every other week jet fuel is delivered to the island via a tanker from their own refinery at Aruba. "Valero" operates a direct pipeline from their landing-jetty to the airport.Two refueller trucks each with 15.000 gallons and one with 10.000 gallons are available. [Information based on fuel-information on the [http://www.flamingoairport.com/index.asp?page=28&lang=2 official website] .]

Emergency equipment

The airport is categorized as "Fire Category 9" and on-site equipment includes 4 crashtenders and one rapid-intervention unit.

Gallery of pictures

Incidents & Accidents

On June 18, 2004, a Cessna 402B, registration N69404, registered to Aircraft Sales Corporation, leased to a private individual, experienced collapse of both main landing gears during the landing roll at the Flamingo Airport, Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. The airplane departed St.Maarten's Princess Juliana International Airportwith destination to Curaçao's Hato International Airport. The pilot, while flying, noticed that the aircraft's right alternator failure light illuminated and heard a "whining" sound coming from the left side of the aircraft ten minutes later and noted the landing gear motor circuit breaker was popped and the landing gear in-transit light was illuminated. On approach to the airport he attempted to extend the landing gear manually then performed a fly by of the air traffic control tower. He was advised that the landing gear appeared to be extended and the flight returned for landing. Upon landing, the left main landing gear collapsed first, followed by the right main landing gear and the aircraft came to rest off the left side of the runway. Both occupants evacuated the aircraft safetly with no injuries. Today, the aircraft resides at the Bonaire Airport at the General Aviation's ramp without its engines. [cite web|url=http://www.aircraftone.com/aircraft/accidents/20040726X01067.asp |title=Bonaire cessna accident ]


* [http://www.flamingoairport.com/index.asp?page=12&lang=2 Flamingo Airport] (official website)
* [http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?aircraft_genericsearch=&airlinesearch=&countrysearch=-+Kralendijk+%2F+Bonaire+-+Flamingo+%28BON+%2F+TNCB%29&specialsearch=&daterange=&keywords=&range=&sort_order=&page_limit=15&thumbnails=&calccount=1279904&truecount=false&engine_version=6.0 Aviation pictures of Bonaire (brought to you by Airliners.net)]
* [http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?aircraft=-2&airline=-2&country=loc-Bonaire%2FKralendijk+Flamingo+Airport+-+TNCB&photog=-2&category=-2&year=-2&keywordrange=all&keywordlimiter=2&keywords=&sort=1&genre=1&size=-2&mainsearch=search&displaymode=1&display=15 Aviation pictures of Bonaire (brought to you by Jetphotos.net)]

External links

* [http://www.azworldairports.com/cfm/frame.cfm?src=http://www.azworldairports.com/airports/p1322bon.htm Flamingo Airport] at A-Z World Airports

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