ORANJESTAD (October 7, 2018) – Once a week, on Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my weekly newsletter.
This weeks edition features the top news headlines in Aruba.
Subscribing to my newsletter is an ideal way to stay up to date with what’s going on in Aruba – whether you’re living on the island, miles away or your first visit!
If this is your first time reading my newsletter – welcome!
Official Financial Closing for Airport Renovation Gateway 2030 Project
CEO of Aruba’s airport announced the official financial closing for renovation project (Gateway 2030) on October 1, 2018.
The airport received a 10 to 15 year term loan for 495 million (236.4 million in Aruban Guilders) and the rest in US Dollars.
Gateway 2030 project will transform the entire airport to accommodate the growing amount of visitors with a seamless travel experience.
The project will take 5 years to complete.
According to the CEO of the airport, they already invested 50 million dollars for the first phase of the project. This includes 3 new gates, a new baggage system and elimination of unnecessary stops between check in and immigration
“We are extremely proud of having reached this milestone within the Gateway 2030 expansion project. We are ready for the actual construction works to begin and look forward to welcoming all passengers at the end of the expansion project in a bigger, more modern and better airport” – said the CEO of Aruba’s Airport during a press conference.
The last renovation on the airport took place in the 1990’s which is over 20 years ago.
Gateway 2030 is going to be one of the largest renovations in the history of Aruba.
Fly To Aruba From New York LaGuardia With American Airlines
American Airlines recently announced a new straight flight from LaGuardia Airport in New York to Aruba!
As of June 2019, American will have a 160 seat flight leaving every Saturday to Aruba.
The “One Happy Island” is expanding into the US and making it more accessible for people from the north east to visit Aruba.
Recently the airline announced that new gates will be opening in Chicago as of December 22, 2018 to accommodate travelers looking to escape the cold.
American Airlines is connecting America and Aruba since 1971 to the happy island.
The Fight Continues For Moratorium
The leader of a new political party in Aruba (RAIZ) held a protest last week against the construction of St.Regis hotel on Palm beach (between Divi Phoenix & RIU).
The goal of the protest was collect at least 10.000 signatures to guide the government in the process of implementing a moratorium. With this amount RAIZ can demand politicians to take the topic of a Moratorium seriously and treat it as such in Parliament.
Locals and visitors showed up to sign their name on this petition to stop the plans!
According to the leader of RAIZ, the moratorium consist of:
- Immediately stopping the constructions of new hotels, timeshares and condominiums by means of a national ordinance
- Implement a “high value low impact” tourism policy by law, as was advised by our tourism institutions
- Regulate, check and limit the quantity of tourist related activities
The petition is now online and already been signed by over 4.000 locals and visitors.
If you share the same belief as RAIZ to end the uncontrolled construction of hotels and condominiums, stand up and join forces to stop these developments.
Sign the online petition and share it with your family and acquaintances to help collect a minimum of 10,000 signatures.
The government of Aruba responded this week that they are considering to implement a moratorium, but have to study the consequences before a decision is made.
If they do approve a moratorium, it will be done in the first quarter of 2019, according to the prime minister of Aruba.
Aruba has the highest accommodation density in the Caribbean region. The island has a total of 66 rooms per square meters. The second island in the Caribbean with the highest accomodation density has 18 rooms per square meters.
Keep Aruba’s Beaches Clean
Aruba Reef Care foundation took action and protected what they love – our beaches!
The foundation managed to clean Aruba’s coast on September 30, 2018.
Over 700 volunteers participated in this beach clean up event. They were split into groups to cover over 37 location on the island.
Here’s a list of beaches that were cleaned:
- California Lighthouse
- Palm Beach
- Divi Beach (Tamarijn)
- Wilhelmina Park until Neptali Henriquez Park
- Surfside beach
- Marina Pirata until Mangel Halto
- Isla di Oro
- Santo Largo
- Rogers Beach
- Baby Beach
- Dog cemetery (Baby Beach)
- Bachelors Beach
- Grape Field
- Boca Grandi
- Rincon until Sero Colorado.
Next year (2019) will be there 25th anniversary. Will you volunteer to keep our beaches nice and clean?
Beautify Palm Beach Area
Public works department announced that the road between Brickell Bay Beach and Hostaria da Vittorio on Palm beach will be closed as of October 9, 2018 for maintenance.
The appearance of this strip will be enhanced with new trees, parking spaces, walkways and additional light poles will be added for more illumination.
Construction works will take up to 4 months to complete.
The road in this area will be deviated with road signs.
Take note of this inconvenience when driving around Palm beach.
New Parking Rules in 2019
By now everyone knows that you have to pay for parking in the main street of Aruba.
There’s parking meters and special lots assigned for locals and visitors.
The update on parking in downtown of Aruba is – cars will no longer be towed or booted, but a parking fine will be implemented. And more parking spaces will be turned into free spots.
Downtown area has about 1500 parking spaces, both paid and for permit holders. According to the minister of transport 500 parking spots will become free of charge.
He mentioned during a press conference this week that several of the above mentioned parking rules will take effect as of January 1, 2019.
Bad Weather in Palm Beach Aruba
The meteorology department warned locals and visitors for “bad weather” last week and it rained a lot (since we didn’t experience any sign of rain for a long time).
Yes, it’s true that Aruba is the sunniest island in the Caribbean, but sometimes it does rain, only sometimes. The beaches between Divi Beach and Arashi (including palm & eagle) had big waves and strong currents. Local authorities did not advise swimming (or at own risk).
Body boarders and surfers were dotted on the beach trying to ride the unusually big waves.
Various palapas and trees near the beach were damaged, but almost completely restored by now.
The video shows how rough the beach actually was and how visitors still enjoyed every bit of the sea despite the weather conditions (interviews are in Papiamento, Dutch and English).
Sunrise Solar Panels in San Nicolas
Aruba is aiming to become one of the first in the Caribbean region to rely completely on renewable energy. Over 20% of the islands energy is already being supplied by over 10 wind turbines. Now researchers are expanding the sustainability bar with ground mounted solar with a capacity of 6 megawatts.
The solar park is a new edition to the government’s vision to produce renewable energy for the entire island.
It’s located on the east side of Aruba on a 92.000 square meter of land previously owned by the Refinery of Aruba.
The solar plant is still in trial runs and performance tests. As soon as researchers approve the system it will be connected to the grid system to deliver electricity to consumers.
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