Utilizing the naturally low-lying geography and traditional Dutch dike design, much of Bonaire’s southern half has been made into a giant system of ponds and pools which evaporate seawater to produce salt. Presently operated by Cargill, Bonaire’s solar salt works produces 400,000 tons of industrial grade salt per year. After collection, the salt is then washed and stored in pyramid-shaped piles roughly 50 feet in height, each containing approximately 10,000 metric tons of 99.6 percent pure salt. The salt facility operates its own pier where ships are loaded with salt destined for North American, European and Western Pacific markets. Bonaire’s salt is used mostly in industrial roles.
The Bonaire Petroleum Corporation (BOPEC) is a fuel oil storage and transshipment terminal on Bonaire.
Construction began in December 1943, with the new “Flamingo Airport” opening in 1945. A small terminal was built that was suitable for the number of passengers at the time. This building was used until mid-1976. The airport had received many extensions of both the runway and the terminal itself.
Today the airport is known as Flamingo International Airport and is served by a variety of both domestic and international airlines. Services from the US include Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines. Airlines providing European service include TUI Netherlands and KLM. Consistent air service from Curaçao is available through Divi Divi Air and EZ Air.
The airport is equipped with a fire station, control tower and hangar. Plans are underway for modifications to the current airport facilities, runway and the fire station.
Flag of Bonaire:
The flag of Bonaire has a large dark blue triangle in the lower right corner and a smaller yellow triangle in the upper left corner. It was adopted on 11 December 1981.
The triangles are separated by a white strip, inside of which is a black compass and a red six-pointed star. The dark blue and yellow triangles represent the sea and sun respectively while the dividing white strip represents the sky. The colors red, white, and blue also show Bonaire’s loyalty to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The black compass represents the population of Bonaire who comes from the four corners of the world.
The red six-pointed star represents the original six villages of Bonaire – Antriol, Nikiboko, Nort Saliña, Playa, Rincon and Tera Korá.
Vexillologist Whitney Smith was involved in developing the flag’s design.