Flamingo Airport Bonaire Gets New Aerodrome Control Tower

Flamingo Tower at Bonaire International Airport

Inauguration to Take Place September 15

On Friday, September 15, Bonaire will inaugurate a new state-of-the-art Aerodrome Control Tower at Flamingo International Airport. The tower’s inauguration will cap off the completion of phase 2a of the 15 year Master Plan for the expansion of the airport.

Mr. Michael Nicolaas, CEO of Bonaire International Airport (BIA) NV noted, “With the inauguration of the new Aerodrome Control Tower, Bonaire is demonstrating its commitment to ensuring safety, efficiency and the orderly in the handling of air traffic making use of the airport.” He continued,“Our vision at BIA is to become the Gateway to the Economy of Bonaire, and this tower is a significant milestone on our journey. ”

The tower is owned by Bonaire International Airport NV, and will be known as Flamingo Tower. The Air Traffic Service will be provided by The Dutch Caribbean Air Navigation Service Provider (DC-ANSP), the Air Navigation Service Provider responsible for the Air Traffic Services (ATS) within the Curaçao Flight Information Region (FIR). As such, DC-ANSP operates three air traffic control facilities: the Area Control Centre and the Aerodrome Control Tower in Curaçao and the Aerodrome Control Tower in Bonaire.

The tower will be operational from 07:00 – 23:00hrs Local time (11:00 – 03:00 UTC / Greenwich Mean Time) and is fully compliant with the International Safety Standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). An initial staff of seven people will be employed to handle the current traffic at the airport, with DC-ANSP able to respond to any increase in air traffic demand that would require additional staff.

The new location of the Control Tower has an improved line of sight, providing the air traffic controllers a better view of the entire maneuvering area of the aerodrome used for the take-off, landing and taxing of aircraft. The state-of-the-art quality technical equipment and communication system facilitates the communication between the Control Tower and the air traffic (Pilots) and ensures a safe guidance and management of air traffic operations.

Mr. Nicolaas concluded,

“I would be remiss if I did not recognize the full support of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment responsible for the aviation safety on the BES Islands who made the building of the new Flamingo Tower possible.”




Flamingo International Airport Offers Refuge to Aircraft During Hurricane Irma

Due to the passage of category 5 Hurricane “Irma” over the Windward Islands, Flamingo International Airport N.V. is supporting airlines and offering refuge to aircraft from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A total of 16 aircraft of various types such as “SAAB 340”, “Twinotter” and “Short 330” will be parked on the aprons of our airport and also two seaplanes type “Twinotter” from Seaborne will be landing ion the waters of Kralendijk Bay and will be stationed at the WEB buoy.

Bonaire International Airport N.V. (BIA) is happy to give our support to our neighboring islands who are experiencing very difficult times.

Sunwing Offers Introductory Fares for Flights Toronto to Bonaire

Sunwing will commence flights to Bonaire in mid-December 2017 by offering a weekly non-stop service from Toronto to Bonaire every Sunday on a Boeing 737-800 with a capacity of a 189 seats.

Now there is a limited-time special introductory fare for air-only of $595.00 per person, including all taxes and fees.  This special rate is valid for flights from Toronto to Bonaire on 17th December, 2017, 24th December, 2017 or 7th January, 2018.  Return flights on this fare are available 24th December, 2017, 31st December, 2017, 7th January, 2018, or 14th January, 2018.

All flights to or from Bonaire include Sunwing’s award-winning in-flight service with:

  • Welcome glass of sparkling wine
  • Free checked baggage up to 23 kilos
  • Extensive buy-on-board menu (additional charge)
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • First-run movies
  • Kidcations Backpacks with games and toys
  • Free 5 kilo carry-on, with one free personal item.

Prices are for new bookings only and subject to change without notice. All flights are with Sunwing Airlines or Travel Service.  In-flight service varies by flights times, and other conditions may apply. Upgrades to Elite Plus Service are available for only $50.00 per person per flight.

For additional information, or to make a reservation, visit Sunwing’s website.

(Source:  Sunwing Airlines)





Bonaire’s Instructor Firefighters Train in Simulated Airplane Firefighting

On Wednesday April 12th the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department (Brandweerkorps Caribisch Nederland, hereafter referred to as BKCN) held an airplane firefighting training exercise on the grounds of Bonaire International Airport (BIA). BKCN is not only responsible for regular firefighting duties, but also for airplane firefighting on all three islands. The training exercise was an in-service training in the field of airplane firefighting and was intended for all BKCN instructors. The instructors therefore are able to give other colleagues within the department in-service training.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) applies very strict rules and requirements which the fire department must observe. It was a realistic training exercise with fire and smoke in an airplane during evening hours. These exercises took place on the grounds of BIA where a training object has been constructed from containers and other materials to imitate the fuselage of an airplane. There are two different mock-up cabins on the inside; one of a smaller airplane with one aisle and one of a larger airplane with two aisles. In case of an airplane fire it is important for the fire department to turn out and reach the fire within three minutes and to create a survivable situation as soon as possible in order to save as many human lives as possible.

Four shift leaders and three officers of service from Bonaire, and 1 shift leader and 2 firemen from St. Eustatius participated in this physically demanding training exercise. A total of 10 participants and 3 fire engines were deployed. The training exercise was organized by BKCN instructor Ab Hoek and Sergeant Major Frank Koenders, airplane firefighting instructor of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, in collaboration with the firefighting training institute BOGO. The airplane firefighting training exercise for instructors lasted 9 days, of which one day was devoted to theory and the remaining days were practical days.

During the simulation, emphasis was also placed on cooperation with other services, such as red cross, ambulance, police and the KMar.

(Source: RCN)


InselAir to Focus Upon Dutch Caribbean Destinations

InselAir is only flying within the Dutch Caribbean.

As a direct result of the continued grounding of a part of its fleet by the Aruban Civil Aviation Authorities since January 26, Curaçao-based InselAir says it has no choice but to temporarily suspend flights to all destinations outside of the Dutch Caribbean effective Wednesday, March 8.

International flights are temporarily suspended.

The measure includes service to Barquisimeto, Caracas, Georgetown, Haiti, Kingston, Las Piedras, Manaus, Medellin, Miami, Paramaribo, Port of Spain and Santo Domingo. Inter-island services to Aruba, Bonaire, and St. Maarten will remain in place. As soon as aircraft become available again, the carrier will look into re-launching some of its routes. In this case, passengers will be informed accordingly. Management expects to return to regular operations again by June of this year.

Passengers are being protected or their tickets refunded.

Passengers who are in possession of a ticket purchased via an InselAir ticket office or online via fly-inselair.com, will be granted a full refund, and will be contacted by the Customer Relations Department. Passengers who have purchased a ticket via a travel agent are strongly advised to contact their travel agent to have the refund processed.

Passengers who have already started their journey will be transferred to another airline and will be informed accordingly.

How can passengers contact InselAir?

The InselAir Customer Relations Team will use the contact details that passengers have provided upon their reservation/booking. In case passengers did not provide personal contact details upon their reservation/booking, we advise those to contact InselAir via +297 582 1200, +599 9 737 0444 or +1 855 493 6004 (Mon – Fri 7AM – 8PM & Sat – Sun 8AM – 8PM, UTC/GMT-4 local time) or via schedulechange@fly-inselair.com.

InselAir regrets that it is forced to take these measures and sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience caused. InselAir’s teams will do their utmost to inform and support the affected passengers.

(Source:  InselAir)



Defi Wind Caribbean Returns to Bonaire June 17-21, 2017

Defi Wind 2017 on Bonaire

Defi Wind Caribbean 2017.

The Defi Wind Caribbean organization is proud to announce its second edition of this windsurf and kite contest, which will take place from June 17th through 21st, 2017. This event is organized by Defi Wind organizer Phillipe Bru and 41 times world champion windsurfing Bjorn Dunkerbeck. This event will be hosted by Sorobon Beach Resort, and this location will be used as a starting point and also for ancillary events.

Bonaire has been chosen for the second year because of the island’s steady winds all year long, the beautiful scenery and water conditions, as well as for the pleasant temperatures.

The windsurfing race will have four categories, divided between men, women, and age. There is a maximum of 111 participants for the windsurfing event.

The kitesurfing race will also have four categories, also divided between men, women, and age.  There is a maximum of 50 participants for this event.

Registration is already open.  For additional information, visit the event website.

(Source:  Defi Wind Caribbean)



Think Twice Before Packing Your Drone for Bonaire

Bonaire's airspace is protected.

Drones are becoming very popular vehicles for aerial photography, and so some passengers want to bring their drones to Bonaire for their vacation.  However, you may wish to think twice before you pack it in your suitcase.

RPAS – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (Drones)

This news provides information about the use of drones for either recreational or professional purposes in The Netherlands, which includes the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.

The airspace above the BES islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba) is prohibited airspace or controlled airspace (control zone ⇒ CTR or aerodrome traffic zone ⇒ ATZ). It is not allowed to fly here with aircraft, including remotely piloted aircraft or model aircraft, without the permission of ATC or AFIS.  At this moment, ATC and AFIS are not able to grant any permits. So please, leave your drone at home or keep it safely stored in your suitcase during your stay.  Enjoy Bonaire the old-fashioned way, on the ground!

More detailed information about our airspace:

The Flamingo CTR at Bonaire is visible on the map. It is the large area with the mark 25 NM TNCB ARP. The area TNP-1 and TNP-2 are prohibited for all aircraft. The space between these two areas is only available for manned aircraft with a clearance of ATC.

List of Abbreviations:

ACAS Airborne Collision Avoidance System
AFIS Aerodrome Flight Information System
AGL Above Ground Level
ARP Aerodrome Reference Point
ATC Air Traffic Control
ATZ Aerodrome Traffic Zone
BES Islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba
CAA-NL Civil Aviation Authority The Netherlands
CTR Control Zone
FIR Flight Information Region
FPV First Person View
ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization
NM Nautical Miles
RPA pilot Remotely Piloted Aircraft pilot working for an RPAS operator
RPAS Remotely Piloted Aircraft System
TNCB The Nature Conservancy Bonaire
VFR Visual Flight Rules
VLOS Visual Line of Sight

(Source:  Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport)


Update and Status on InselAir Operations

InselAir is currently experiencing delays and interruptions in service due to the maintenance inspections on some of their planes.  On January 31st, 2017, InselAir posted information to provide passengers with the proper contact information, should their flights be affected.

BIA recommends that all passengers with InselAir flights in the coming days check with the airline for current status.  The contact information is available here:  https://www.fly-inselair.com/en/news/update-inselair-operations/

(Source:  InselAir website)



InselAir Launches Adjusted Flight Schedule

In the light of improving the on time performance and to further reduce costs, InselAir will put in place an adjusted flight schedule starting January, 2017. Next to downscaling operations, InselAir is also well on its way to achieve the cost savings project 2 million ANG monthly, started in October 2016. The company expects to reach this by the end of February. The adjusted flight schedule includes adjusted frequencies and, in some cases, temporarily taking out routes.

Major changes: Quito, Valencia, Miami – Haiti

InselAir will be temporarily taking out its South American destination Quito (Ecuador) during low season, from January 12 until June 19, but has planned to re-introduce Quito in high season with a direct flight from Curacao. Furthermore, InselAir will discontinue the Miami – Port au Prince and the Curacao – Valencia operations until the start of the next high season.

Havana: day change

The Curacao – Havana route will be temporarily discontinued the whole month of February and will be flown on Monday and Saturday (instead of Monday and Friday) starting in March.

(Source:  InselAir)



KLM Pronounced Safest and Most Punctual Airline!

With barely a fortnight into 2017, KLM has already won two prizes.

The German Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC) has declared KLM the safest European airline. KLM comes fifth in the JACDEC worldwide rankings.

KLM is also the most punctual airline, Flight Stats recently announced. This aviation insights company publishes an annual list of international airlines with the best on-time performance records. FlightStats compares airlines on punctuality, flight schedules, and flight times. KLM holds first place for global arrival performance.

KLM President and CEO, Mr. Pieter Elbers, stated,

This is a marvelous start to the new year. I see this as a wonderful acknowledgement of all our efforts in safety, punctuality, and customer focus. We want to continue to give our customers a safe and pleasant travel experience in 2017.

(Source:  KLM)

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