News & Media
SXM Airport Pandemic Plan in full effect to foster awareness on the Norvel Coronavirus in our low risk area.
Simpson Bay, St. Maarten St. Maarten (Tuesday January 28, 2020) – As the world is on high alert because of the Coronavirus outbreak, so is the Management of the Princess Juliana International Airport – SXM. A series of emergency preparedness meetings convened during the course of last week to guarantee the SXM Airport’s Pandemic plan goes into full effect, to foster awareness and responsiveness for good hygiene practices to prevent the Norvel Coronavirus. Furthermore, following collaborative meetings with the pertinent members of the Government of St. Maarten and sector heads, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Brian Mingo announced that it was established that the goal is not to generate panic in our low risk area, but to be accountable for the management of the risk of communicable diseases at airports, which rests primarily with the local public health authority.
On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause, which was detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. On January 13, 2020, the Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, reported the first imported case of lab-confirmed novel coronavirus also from Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Since then, there have been more worldwide confirmed cases on the gradual rise through travel.
The plan of action for the SXM Airport includes the installation and strategic placement of additional hand sanitizer units and the pandemic plan which now includes an update on the coronavirus. According to the Chief Operations Officer, COO, Michel Hyman, the implementation of the public and airport awareness campaign has begun and serves to bring awareness to our passengers, staff and airport stakeholders. “We are taking all the necessary precautionary measures and have established an action plan in the event a case may arise at the SXM Airport,” concluded Mr. Hyman.
According to the Airport Council International (ACI), together with the local authorities, each airport operator should play its part towards achieving greater coordination of preparedness measures. ACI further states that our airport preparedness plan should also address aspects such as screening logistics, equipment, entry/exit controls, and coordination with the local/regional/national public health authority. Furthermore, the International Health Regulations (2005) refers to the role of competent authorities at airports with respect to ensuring that facilities for travelers are maintained in a sanitary condition and that goods being transported through airports are kept free of sources of infection or contamination; it concludes.