News & Media

Celebrating 80 Years of Excellence at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA)

Join us as we proudly commemorate 80 years of aviation excellence at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA)! Since our inception in 1944, PJIA has been a cornerstone of Sint Maarten's transportation infrastructure, evolving from a modest building to one of the Caribbean's premier airports. We're thrilled to invite you to join us in celebrating this remarkable journey and the significant milestones we've achieved along the way.

Historical Timeline: Princess Juliana International Airport

March 4, 1944: Princess Juliana of Orange officially opens an airbase as a civilian airport.

March 20, 1964: Former Dutch Minister Barend Biesheuvel officially opens Princess Juliana International Airport on the site of Simpson Bay where it is currently located.

November 10, 2006: Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Kingdom of the Netherlands inaugurates the new terminal building of Princess Juliana International Airport, marking the official opening of the extended and upgraded airport facilities.

September 6, 2017: The airport is hit by Hurricane Irma (Cat 5).

January 2020: Princess Juliana International Airport signs the World Bank/EIB loan to reconstruct the terminal.

July 2021: Ballast Nedam International Project signs the contract to start the reconstruction.

September 2021: Ballast Nedam International Project starts the reconstruction works with the demolition of the upper floor departure area.

February 6, 2023: His Majesty King Willem Alexander, Her Majesty Queen Máxima, and Princess Amalia visit Princess Juliana International Airport as part of Princess Amalia's introductory trip to the Caribbean of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

November 15, 2023: The airport announces the soft opening of its brand-new departure hall.

January 12, 2024: The airport celebrates a big milestone with the opening of the new departure hall.

January 22, 2024: PJIAE and Winair unveil the brand-new check-in area for the first Winair passengers flying to Saba and St. Eustatius.

February 12, 2024: PJIAE unveils the brand-new check-in area for all airlines.

March 2024: Ballast Nedam started the reconstruction of an upgraded Arrival Hall. Construction of the Arrival Hall is anticipated to be finalized by the first week of October.

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the airport, the terminal building has received new branding. Eye-catching signage has been placed at the facade of the building and in the new check-in hall, chronicling the airport's rich history and highlighting its commitment to serving the community. Passengers are greeted by a festive logo and visuals depicting the airport's evolution through the decades.

Festive Ceremony

A key pillar of the 80th celebrations will be the royal celebration of the renovated terminal building. This festive celebration will take place on November 22, 2024. The milestone event is set to honor the airport's rich legacy of connecting people and cultures across the globe. With a blend of historical reverence and forward-looking optimism, the 80th birthday celebration will be a royal celebration, reflecting the airport's enduring commitment to innovation, efficiency, and sustainability in the years to come.