Queen Beatrix International Airport (IATA: AUA, ICAO: TNCA), (Dutch: Internationale luchthaven Koningin Beatrix; Papiamento: Aeropuerto Internacional Reina Beatrix), is an international airport located in Oranjestad, Aruba. It has flight services to the United States, Canada, several countries in the Caribbean, the northern coastal countries of South America, as well as some parts of Europe, notably the Netherlands. It is named after Beatrix of the Netherlands, who was Queen of the Netherlands from 1980 to 2013.
The airport offers United States border preclearance facilities. A terminal for private aircraft opened in 2007. The airport used to serve as the hub for bankrupt airline Air Aruba, which was for many years an international airline. Before Aruba’s separation from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 it was also one of three hubs for ALM Antillean Airlines as well as a home base for Tiara Air until 2016.
Since 2013 the airport is home to Aruba Airlines, a local airline. The airline has three Airbus A320 family aircraft and two Bombardier CRJ200. The main focus of Aruba Airlines is connecting the region through its hub.
In 1934, Manuel Viana launched a weekly mail and passenger service between Aruba and Curacao, with A.J. Viccellio piloting Loening C-2H Air Yacht PJ-ZAA from a mud-flat runway. Commercial services were taken over by KLM from 24 December 1934. Later they were transferred to a graded runway known as the KLM field.
During World War II, the airport was used by the United States Army Air Forces Sixth Air Force defending Caribbean shipping and the Panama Canal against German submarines. The airfield was renamed Dakota Field; the terminal facilities became Dakota Airport Flying units assigned to the airfield were:
- 59th Bombardment Squadron (9th Bombardment Group) 14 January-24 September 1942 (A-20 Havoc)
- 12th Bombardment Squadron (25th Bombardment Group) 10 October 1942 – 23 November 1943 (B-18 Bolo)
- 22d Fighter Squadron (36th Fighter Group) 2 September 1942 – April 1943 (P-40 Warhawk)
- 32d Fighter Squadron (Antilles Air Command) 9 March 1943 – March 1944 (P-40 Warhawk)
On 22 October 1955, the airport was named after Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands during a royal visit. It was renamed in 1980 after her accession to the throne.
On 3 March 2021, American Airlines celebrated its 50 years flying to and from Aruba