The Aruba Airport Authority says it has begun preparing for a “possible” restart, although it will ultimately hinge when the government decides to reopen the island to commercial air travel.
For now, the AUA’s plan is about being ready in case that does happen — and ready for the changes to airport operations it would bring.
Indeed, the restart of regular airport operations in Aruba “depends on several factors,” the AUA said.
Most importantly, it will depend on a decision by the Government of Aruba to allow again for commercial air travel to and from the island.
“However, AAA has prepared a plan to be able to receive in a safe and controlled way (in first instance small volumes) regular scheduled air traffic as of the 1st of June 2020,” the airport said.
The AUA’s plan has four different phases.
“Possible entry/travel/health requirements and measures of local and international authorities, airlines and the Aruba Government will be considered and implemented throughout the phasing of this restart plan,” the organization said.
The four phases include the “pre-restart phase,” the “soft-restart phase” the “close-to-normal operation” phase and the “business as usual phase.”
The AUA said it had initiated its “pre-restart” phase on April 23, and “hopes” to start the soft-restart phase June 1.
The initial phase includes the implementation of a number of measures to ensure safety, including signs guiding passengers on proper social distancing, putting in capacity restrictions, having transparent shields on check-in desks and marking queueing areas — and even measures like one-way corridors.
“While we all might hope for a speedy return to our normal operations with pre-COVID volumes, we must be aware that this might not happen in a few months,” the AUA said. “It is hard to predict at this point in time when the Business-as-usual phase will be reached but a full recovery can take a long time. We have now a responsible plan in place to pick operations back up step by step, in the safest way as possible and in compliance with all travel and health requirements. Whilst we await the Government of Aruba’s announcement of the date for the reopening of our borders, we will in the meantime be ready for this new chapter as of the 1st of June.”