The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and Rijkswaterstaat have signed a contract with Saba Roads and Construction / Den Ouden Aannemingsbedrijf for the renovation of the runway of Juancho Yrausquin airport on Saba.
The contractor was selected after a bidding process executed by Rijkswaterstaat.
The project includes the realization of a helicopter platform at the end of the apron, resurfacing the runway with concrete and renewing all pavement markings. The execution of the project is scheduled in the lowest travel season, from September 10th till October 9th this year. 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 ZVK to make sure medical transport is not hampered by the closing of the airport. Also, additional and alternative ferry services are discussed to ensure accessibility of the island while the airport is closed.
‘The period of September 10th – October 9th was chosen as this is the lowest travel season of the year’, says Commissioner Bruce Zagers. ‘The renovation of the runway is badly needed and closing the airport cannot be prevented. By choosing this time period we could make sure that the impact on our economy, which is for a significant part dependant on tourism, is kept at a minimum.’
As this period coincides with the peak of the hurricane season, precautions will be made to minimize 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 9th, at 6am, the airport is scheduled re-open, in time for the first flight of that day.