Published On: Tue, Sep 22nd, 2015

Response to ‘thank you CAP’

AirportIt doesn’t take a rockets scientist to come to the conclusion that Curaçao has the worst airport terminal in the Caribbean. And while it is unfair to hold the current management of CAP accountable for this, since they inherited this disastrous airport from the previous consortium, at the end, it is their responsibility to make sure the airport is operating to the highest standards.

The initiatives like the Curacao Airport Expansion Project can be greatly applauded, but unfortunately, the terminal will never reach the highest level of quality, architecture, passenger’s satisfaction, comfort, efficiency et cetera. As other airports in our region, if modifications to an already extremely deficient structure are done. I invite everyone including CAP and CAH to take a look at, not only the airports of Aruba and Sint Maarten, but also those of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Jamaica, Trinidad, Bahamas and the newly built terminal in Antigua, who are nominated for the best airports in the Caribbean.

In order to upgrade our airport to the same standards as the airports previously mentioned, a new state of the art terminal needs to be built from scratch. But while that might be unrealistic at this moment, for starters, I urge CAP to replace the concrete floors (which coincidentally are mainly used in US state and federals prisons) to a high-end floor finish, like the tiles used in the check-in hall.

Invest in a proper cooling system in the departure, security area and arrival hall. Replace all fixed scales at the check-in counters with conveyor scales, which are used in all airports around the world including our old terminal. Having a dedicated staff with the sole purpose to carry luggage from the fixed scales to the conveyor belt behind the check-in counters gives a very meager impression. An isolated arrival corridor needs to be built, that prevents departing passengers from intersecting with arriving passengers.

Currently departing passengers are unable to enter the loading bridges at gate 2, 3 and 4 if arriving passengers from gate 1 and 5 are travelling through the current corridor towards the arrival hall. The immigration, passport control, security screening area, customs, departure and arrival hall are too small to accommodate the amount of passengers at peak hours and therefore needs a huge upgrade in terms of size, efficiency, aesthetics and comfort. And finally a visual docking guidance system, which operates at most airports including Sint Maarten, will have to replace the outdated human marshallers.

Until these points are dealt with, I can assure you that passengers, airlines and all other stakeholders will remain unhappy with CAP and our airport.

Roberto Batista, Curaçao

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