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Curacao Hato Airport

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Continent: Central America and Caribbean Country: Netherlands Region: Netherlands Antilles
Hato Airport
Location Willemstad, Curacao
Airport type Mixed-Use
Overview map Google maps
Tower 118.3
Approach 119.6

Official Spotting Locations

To start off, you will need a 200-300mm lense from most locations to get nice aircraft photos or close-up photos. The only location where a smaller lense can be sufficient is near the runway as explained later (runway shots section).

The Mirador

The best spotting location by far is the "Mirador". In 2015 this location has been renovated and now has places to sit and parking places to park your car. This place is located behind the parking lot of the airport passenger terminal. The Mirador is located right next to the F.D. Roosevelt Road that passes the airport. When you leave the airport you have to go to the left to go up with the road. When doing so you will see the public terrace with its roof to the left. Here you will see that the road originally went to the left. When seeing the Mirador, keep driving and turn to the airport hotel called Hotel Holland when you see it. This hotel is on your left hand side too. Exit this hotel again to go in the direction of the Mirador again. Once you see it on your right, you will see the road to enter the parking area at the Mirador. When you come from the other direction of the road (meaning from the airport hotel), the Mirador is to your right of course. In this case you have to pass the main airport entrance which is clearly visible by the orange wall with the airport name on it in big letters. When you have passed this entrance the road will go up again and just before the road goes downwards again you will see the Mirador on your right with the parking places. Don't drive to fast here, otherwise you will miss the Mirador and you will have to drive all the way down the hill to turn again. The best way to reach the Mirador is by coming from the direction of the airport hotel. The airport police will not stop you at the Mirador as many local people watch aircraft arriving and departing from this location. It's a public area.

The Mirador location also gives you nice close-up photos if you have a bigger lense (400mm or more).

The small disadvantage of this location is heat haze for arriving aircraft that are on the runway. As you have much less heat haze problems when the aircraft taxi by after arrival, this heat haze disadvantage can be limited here.

A photo of the new Mirador public terrace can be seen in below link:

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Other Spotting Locations

Top of the Hill at Mahuma (Behind The Mirador)

Another less popular location is the top of the hill behind the airport. This area is also known as Mahuma which is the name of the neighborhood there. It is recognizable by the dome on the building there. You will need at least a 300mm lense to photograph from here. A 400mm lense gives you good results from this location as it is further away from the airport. This location does offer you a very nice view of the entire airport.

The DISADVANTAGE is that it is not always safe here. It is also very messy so when walking up the hill you will have to walk over the garbage unfortunately.

As I said earlier, you can recognize this location by the Aerodrome located on the same hill. When you leave the Mirador and go in the direction of the airport hotel, take the first road to your right. This road goes up the hill. When you drive up the hill, you will see this location to the right when you see the Aerodrome building.

As mentioned above, this location is not recommended due it being unsafe and you must have at least a 300mm lense from this location to get decent shots of widebody aircraft taking off or arriving. When going here, it's on your own risk.

Runway Shots

Like many other airports we also have locations near the runway for aircraft photography. There are three locations where runway shot can be taken. The most popular one is runway 11. The biggest disadvantage of runway 11 is that airport security can send you away when they see you as it is near the airport premises. So if the airport security doesn't see you, you have a nice location here but when they do see you, you will be asked to leave. But once you have reached this location, the road is made of sand which is much better. Here you can stop on the side of the road for approaching aircraft. The road is unpaved but has been renovated to bring the condition in better shape because part of this road was made of what used to be coral cliffs. Another disadvantage is the extreme heat at this location. As there is nothing else in the vicinity be sure to take sufficient water with you to cool off and some snacks or food if you want to stay there for more then 2 hours. As the location is fairly remote, I would recommend not to hang out there too long as it is also a location where usually nobody drives, so if something happens to your car, you are on your own. The other runway location is on the opposite side of the runway which is runway 29. Runway 29 is mainly used when the wind changes direction during the months September until November. Runway 29 is located at the terrain which is adjecent to the road going to the airport when coming from the east. It is located on the side of the place called Hato Caves which is a tourist attraction. This terrain is planned as office park but so far there still is a view on runway 29. The disadvantage of this location is that it is not used often for landings (only during the months September until November). But if used, this location can offer very nice photography opportunities.

The advantage of runway 11 is that you can take very nice photos from this location. It is recommended that you know when the aircraft come in when photographing from this location to avoid having to wait there for hours before the aircraft come in. Another advantage from this location is that you don't necessarily need a 200-300mm lense as aircraft pass by right in front of you or above you if you stand right underneath the flying path of the approaching aircraft. The disadvantage of runway 11 is heat haze and it's isolated so you will need to bring lots of water with you. Be sure to snap your photos before the aircraft are almost touching down on the runway. Aircraft turning in front of you to enter the active runway usually have no problem with heat haze.

Runway 11 photos:

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  • sample photo: large
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Runway 29 photos:

Locations to Avoid

As mentioned before, the location on the hill behind the Mirador is not recommended due to its isolated location and all the garbage that is being left there. It is accesible to the public but not recommended if you are unfamiliar with the area.


Regular Traffic

A complete list of the airlines that serve Curacao (incl. aircraft type) can be seen below (as per January 2011):


  • American Airlines (A319, 737-800)
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (747-400, A330-200)
  • Air Berlin (A330-200)
  • TUI (Former Arkefly) (787-8)
  • Air Canada/Canada Rouge (A319)
  • Avianca Colombia (A320/A319/A318)
  • Copa Airlines (737-800/-700, ERJ190)
  • Avior Airlines (737-200, Fokker 50)
  • Rutaca Airlines (737-300/-200)
  • Aerolineas MAS (J31)
  • PAWA Dominicana (MD82)
  • Insel Air (Local airline, MD82, Fokker 70, Fokker 50)
  • E-Liner (Local airline, Piper 31 Navajo)
  • Divi divi Air (Local airline, Britten Norman Islander)
  • EZ Air (Local airline, Britten Norman Islander)
  • Surinam Airways (737-300)
  • Aruba Airlines (A320)


  • WestJet (737-800(November - May))
  • Air Transat (737-800 (December - April)
  • Sunwing Airlines (737-800 (December - May)


  • Emirates SkyCargo (777-200LRF, fuel stops only)
  • Lineas Aereas Suramericanas (727-200F/-100F)
  • Amerijet International (767-200F, 727-200F)
  • Aerosucre (727-200F/-100F, 737-200F depending on cargo demand)
  • Ameriflight(EMB120F, Swearingen Metro/Fairchild III)
  • DHL Vensecar(727-200F/-100F, ATR42F)

Facilities and Transportation