Aruba Queen Beatrix Airport Spotting Guide

Aruba is a rather uncharted spot of land on the globe for Europeans but this island is a must-do in your life if you like white beaches, sunny weather, lovely landscapes and inhabitants! Not only the island is great, it also has got a quite large airport which is unmissable when you are there. Aruba Airport is named after the mother of the Netherland colonies – The Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the former head of state before here retirement in 2014. Check out the guide for more of this paradise!

The island is one of three ‘ABC islands’ (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), so AUA is hub for Insel Air – the flag carrier of the ABCs – which connects these sister islands.

The Queen Beatrix Airport is the only aviation facility on the island of Aruba so every single tourist which arrives by plane will land on this beautiful, kinda modern airport. The most of the vacationers are from the United States and from the Netherlands. KLM connects the little piece of Holland with a daily service, using an Airbus A330 whilst Arkefly comes along with their brand-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Wamos Air sometimes comes into AUA to bring some vacationers from Madrid to their cruise through the Caribbean and the TUI and Thomas Cook groups seasonally send a Thomson-Dreamliner from Gatwick or a A330 of Thomas Cook Scandinavia from Stockholm. Okay, Europe is covered how about the US?
The US carriers mainly call in with rather medium-sized airplanes like Airbus A320s or Boeing 737s, only UNITED regularly flies in with the rare B757-300 from New York-Newark.

Very exotic carriers like Venezolana with their classic B737-200, LASER with a Magdog from Venezuala or the small island hoppers from the Dominican Republic called Aerolíneas Mas make a trip to AUA unique!

But convince yourself by checking out this guide about a little piece of paradise!

 

Written by Marlin & Jonas Lehmann (visited June 2012)

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Weather
Airport Information Runways 11/29
2.748m (8,999ft)
Spotting Information Ladder No, there is no need for it (Advisable at Spot 3 but not urgently required)
Car Not necessarily
Restrooms Available at all publicly accessible buildings like restaurants or inside the terminal building.
Drinks/Food There are fast food restaurants in Oranjestaad East and directly at Spot 1 (Barefoot Restaurant)
Hotels There are a few hotels nearby the airport for example the Talk of the Town Hotel directly near Spot 1 which is a good hotel.
Season Aruba is busiest during the winter as many US vacationers escape the cold temperatures in the United States. Furthermore the light is best during the winter month. Aruba boasts a constant average temperature of 29°C (83°F) throughout the year which means that the weather is the same. High season (Peak tourist time) is from mid-December until mid-April. Aruba’s low season is from mid-April until mid-December.
Runway Usage 11/29 Depends on the wind direction. Winds usually blow from the east so that runway 11 is in use at the most.

Spot #1 – Surfside Beach
WHERE Right at the end of runway 26 is one of the nicest beaches of Aruba. Surfside Beach is a lovely white-sand-beach which offers a perfect view onto the approach path of runway 11. It is west of the airport and easily accessable by car and public transportation. When you go from the airport just take Camacuri Road to Oranjestaad for about 1.5km and a roundabout will appear. Take its third or fourth exit (Lloyd G. Smith Blvd). You can also park directly on the beach at the waterfront.
WHAT All arrivals into runway 11 or heavy departures from runway 29.
TIME In the mornings during the summer season. (We don’t know how the sun is during the winter months.)
MISC. As mentioned above, the Barefoot Restaurant is right at the beach where you can buy food and drinks.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-300mm
Spot #2 – Runway 11 Line-Ups
WHERE Very difficult of explanation how to get there we recommend to orientate by the way path as shown on the map. Walk from the beach in direction to the approach path and a fence will appear. This fence has got a large hole directly by the waterside thru which you’ll now have to walk thru. When you a one the other side now, turn left and proceed to the airport perimeter fence. Please note that there will sometimes be rough and difficult terrain to pass.
WHAT Departures and arrivals onto/from runway 11.
TIME From about 10am to sunset in winters and from noon until sunset in summer months.
MISC. There is nothing nearby this point. You have to photograph through the fence but the meshes are large enough to take propper photos.
FOCAL LENGTH 55-300mm
Spot #3 – Taxiways
WHERE There is a kiosk which sometimes sells food and groceries near the taxiway to runway 11. Park under a tree from which spotting is possible too. Its not far from the airport’s terminals or from Surfside Beach as it is directly located on a lay-by next to the road which is parallel to the runway. This road is called Camacuri and leads to Oranjestaad respectively to San Nicolas in the other direction.
WHAT All landings and departures of runway 11/29 and taxiings in either sides of directions.
TIME From 10am in winter until late-afternoon.
MISC. Food available if kiosk is opened. You’ll have to photograph through the fence.
FOCAL LENGTH 25-300mm

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One thought on “Aruba Queen Beatrix Airport Spotting Guide

  1. JONATHAN PAYNE

    Add Reflextions Beach Bar and Restaurant as a good place to sit right, next to Barefoot, open all day serving drinks and snacks, loungers available, very civilized spotting. Sun in February can make shots harder as the afternoon progesses. Walkable from the main town.

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