The project was the brainchild of the Minister of Development of Suriname at the time, Frank Essed. In order to speed up the process of mapping the natural resources of the country—under the method used at the time it would at least take another few decades before the whole country was mapped—the plan foresaw in the exploration of the country by flying over it using planes with magnetometers and scintillometers on board. In order to be able to do this, seven airstrips were needed in the interior of Suriname. The 7 airstrips were built for the purpose to make the interior accessible for exploration activities.
During the construction of an airport near Paloemeu, a plane carrying building material crashed nearby. The pilot and co-pilot, Vincent Fajks and Ronald Kappel died in the crash. The airport was subsequently named after Fajks. The airstrip at Tafelberg was named after Mr. Kappel.
Airports constructed during Operation GrasshopperEdit
- Bruijning, C.F.A. en J. Voorhoeve (red.): Encyclopedie van Suriname, Amsterdam en Brussel 1977, Uitgeversmaatschappij Argus Elsevier, pp. 227–229.