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Princess Juliana International Airport and Coast Guard join forces in sea rescue training for airport's rescue and firefighters

Sea rescue training with the PJIAE N.V. Rescue & Firefighters and St. Maarten Coast Guard in the Simpson Bay Lagoon, St. Maarten.

SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten (September 7, 2022) - Throughout the month of August, the Rescue and Firefighters of Princess Juliana International Airport were trained by the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guards for the first time. The purpose of the in-depth training was to improve knowledge of rescue at sea in the event of a rescue operation or aircraft accident.

The Rescue and Fire Fighting Department of PJIAE N.V. initiated and developed the training in close cooperation with the Coast Guard. The team got trained in rescue operations at sea, which also involved a simulation of an aircraft incident. The training also included maneuvering and operating a vessel in difficult circumstances. In the future, new trainings will be developed and both PJIAE N.V. and the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard will combine trainings to make this cooperation a success.

Gerald Baptiste of the Rescue and Firefighters Department comments:
‘We are very happy with the established cooperation between the Coast Guard and PJIAE N.V. We made a good start and I’m looking forward to developing a strong working relationship to ensure our rescue capabilities.’

“The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard will always support efforts to ensure the safety of life at sea and this initiative of the PJIAE N.V. fits the bill. We remain your safety and security partner within the maritime domain,” summarized Captain, R. J. Levenstone, Head of the St. Maarten Support Station of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard.

About Princess Juliana International Airport

Princess Juliana International Airport is the second busiest airport in the Northeast Caribbean. It is the most important airport hub for Saba, St Eustatius, St Barthelemy, Anguilla, Dominica, Nevis, and Tortola. The airport is one of the largest employers on the island. It has 277 workers and 1700 workers within the entire airport community. In 2022, the Sint Maarten Airport expects to handle 1.2 million passengers and 54.000 aircraft movements. The reconstruction works of the airport have started in September 2021. In 2023, the departure hall will be opened and ready to use for passengers. Contractor Ballast Nedam International Projects is actively seeking cooperation with local people and companies which is essential for socio-economic recovery of Sint Maarten.

Historic Timeline

Princess Juliana Airport was officially opened by Princess Juliana in 1944. In 2006, her Majesty Queen Beatrix inaugurated the new terminal building. In 2017, the airport was hit by Hurricane Irma (Cat 5). In January 2020, Princess Juliana International Airport signed the World Bank/EIB loan to reconstruct the terminal. In July 2021, Ballast Nedam International Project signed the contract to start the reconstruction.