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Curaçao Airport City, a unique investment opportunity in the Americas.

Curaçao Airport Holding (CAH), owner of Curaçao International Airport, has recently taken the first steps in the development of the airport and its surroundings into a state-of-the-art Airport City: a sophisticated service hub, offering green, high-tech and innovative products and services. The Master Plan for Curaçao Airport City involves development of 450 hectares of land for considerable expansion of the existing airport services with brand new business hotels, showrooms and warehouses, as well as high-end products and services such as Commercial Spaceport Operations, an Eco Park and innovative Eco-, Aqua- and Agriculture related industries.

Airports worldwide have become powerful engines of local economic development, attracting aviation-linked businesses of all types. Along with incorporating a wide variety of retail and consumer services into passenger terminals, many airports are developing their landside areas with hotels, conference & exhibition centers, offices and shopping complexes, recreational facilities and logistics and free trade zones. Such commercial development is substantially and positively impacting the financial bottom line of airports, and also directly and indirectly contributing to the social and economic development of the local communities. It is transforming airports from landing and takeoff strips into dynamic business centers.

Source: “Airport Cities, the evolution” - Prof. John D. Kasadra, Univ. of North Carolina (2008)

The Airport City Concept

The Curaçao Airport City plans aim to completely transform the existing airport of Curaçao to a center of a complex distribution and shipping network and a destination for niche industries. The intended development of sophisticated industrial and international trade distribution facilities will create new non-aeronautical revenue sources, both to compete and to better serve the traditional aviation functions, stimulate and facilitate increasing passenger and cargo traffic and serve as a catalyst and magnet for landside business development.

Click here for a short informative movie explains this aiport city master plan.

‘We envision the Curaçao International Airport to be a highly efficient airport, servicing origin and destination traffic, and connecting passengers and cargo from both of the sub-continents of the Americas and Europe’, says CAH Director Maurice Adriaens. ‘The airport will be at the center of a dynamic Airport City with aviation and non-aviation businesses, focusing on green, sustainable, innovative and knowledge-intensive industries, creating a powerful engine for economic development of our island.’ Together with the available land on the airport territory itself, the total Airport City development plan can offer over 1 million square meters of rentable space, attracting investments totaling US$ 1.8 billion. ‘Our aim is to assure the continuous operation of a high quality airport in Curaçao and at the same time acquire, develop, support and manage other value-added business activities’.

A safe and sustainable gateway in the Pan-American region

Being an autonomous country within the Dutch Kingdom, Curaçao has a unique position in the Caribbean. As beautiful as a Caribbean island can be for tourism, Curaçao has a lot more to offer to facilitate international trade and services.
It is a logistical hub providing trusted value adding services, a government approved integrated policy, and commitment by the seaport, airport, international trade-, ICT- and financial sectors to become the #1 business destination in the region.

Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Both wide body and small body aircraft can easily reach Curaçao from both sub-continents and multiple regional and intercontinental airlines use it as a ‘home base’, allowing cost effective direct connections.
  • Curaçao offers trustworthy European quality on the Pan-American market and privileged tariffs to the European Union.
  • Dutch law makes legal acts easier and safer than in many other Caribbean countries and the Dutch educational system guarantees quality of labor and services on all levels.
  • Most projects are eligible for a ‘Tax Holiday’, which means exemption from import duties and VAT on imported goods intended for the operation of the business; a reduced profit tax rate of at least 2%; exemption from property tax for ten years; exemption from usage tax; and exemption from income tax for dividends paid within two years after the fiscal year in which the profits are achieved. (Please note that all are subject to approval of the Curaçao Government on a project-by-project basis.)

All of these factors make Curaçao a safe gateway to and from Latin America: strategically positioned between the subcontinents, reachable with short distance flights from all major airports in the Americas and strongly connected to Europe.

The investment opportunity

Curaçao Airport Holding owns approximately 450 hectares of land surrounding the airport, available for the development of the Airport City, of which approximately 200 hectares are available for vertical development. A comprehensive Airport City Master Planlays out the intended developments and designated use of the land. CAH is currently looking for parties interested in investing in the realization of the Airport City plans.

Simon Kloppenburg explains: ‘The Curaçao Airport City offers countless opportunities for parties interested in construction of the infrastructure and the many complexes that will make up the city, but also for the long-term operation of various types of venues. Afterwards, there will be plenty of room for businesses looking for permanent or temporary establishment in a strategic location in the Americas. The proposed city supports high-tech, time sensitive and freight forwarding companies. A free trade zone and exhibition centers will facilitate trade and business between the continents.’

Maurice Adriaens adds by stating that: ‘The Curaçao Airport City is so much more than just another airport. We are talking about new hotels, offices, warehouses, universities, housing, sporting & entertainment facilities, ecological industries and even a commercial spaceport (

Can you imagine what commercial spaceflight taking off from Curaçao will do for our international position? It will place us amongst the few international space locations worldwide, triggering enormous spinoff industries in space tourism, entertainment and space technology.’

Desired Participation

CAH is looking for parties interested in entering into Third Party Development ofa part of the available land by means of a Long Lease Agreement (50 to 75 years). Land will be made available to Investors, Developers and Businesses, subject to both general and specific Long Lease terms & conditions. Prior to the allocation under a long lease term, Curaçao Airport Holding and the potential Leaseholder will enter into a Project Development Agreement, specifying the purpose of the development, the timeframe of the development and its commercial value.Partnership in project development with the landowner is also possible.

Our role as facilitator

As a publicly owned corporation, Curaçao Airport Holding assumes a facilitating role, rather than an active business role in the development of the Airport City. In this role, excellence will be at the base of all activities. Curaçao Airport Holding acts as the landlord, protecting the long-term vision and the island and airport’s interest. In this capacity it also takes responsibility for providing the necessary infrastructure and availability of utilities and centralized services. This includes the realization of a Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC) system providing its users cold and clean water for the purpose of cooling and/or agri- and aqua culture related industries. In a later phase Curaçao Airport Holding aims to be able to provide different types of sustainable energy sources s.a. Ocean Thermal Energy Convertion (OTEC), solar, wind, waste-to-energy, all the latest innovations in this field.

Corporate responsibility

The management and employees of Curaçao Airport Holding are mostly Curaçao natives and therefore the company is well rooted in the local community. One of CAH’s main goals in the development of the Curaçao Airport City is to ensure that it yields a considerable positive spinoff for the island.

Director Maurice Adriaens: ‘Green and sustainable development will function as a magnet for Research and Development and educational industries, leading to impressive long term educational opportunities, economic growth and job creation. Not to mention all the new jobs that will be created in all the other sectors that I mentioned earlier. In addition, the SWAC, OTEC, Eco Park development and agriculture and aquaculture industries will make us more independent of the import of energy and food.’

100% green and self-sufficient

  • Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC) (expected to be operational in 2015/2016) providing green and cheaper cooling, and Green EnergyProduction (OTEC, Solar and Wind) will lower your cost of doing business
  • The first Green Airport in the region serves as a unique and attractive example and testing environment for new sustainable technologies

Simon Kloppenburg continues: ‘Curaçao Airport City will be the first 100% self-sufficient green energy based airport in the region, featuring such innovations as a Salt Water Air Conditioning distribution network, a Waste to Energy system and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion for the generation of electricity. Together with conservation of the surrounding environment through sustainable infrastructure plans, Curaçao Airport City will have a positive socio-economic impact on surrounding urban areas, with the highest level of green and sustainable consciousness.’

Ghatim Kabbara
CEO Curaçao Tourism Development Foundation