News & Media
PJIAE’s new departure hall will become the benchmark for Caribbean Hubs with authentic stores and great food choices.
SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten (September 8, 2022) – On September 7, 2022, Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company (PJIAE N.V.) hosted the kick-off meeting with the retail and food and beverage partners and IXI-Design, who is the in-house architect responsible for the concession design strategy and implementation. The ambitious plan is developed by the PJIAE team based upon extensive research, and with input from all partners and stakeholders. The goal of this new plan is to contribute to a new passenger story, with authentic, interesting, and entertaining concession choices, representing the richness and diversity of St. Maarten.
There will be 24 units/stores in the new departure hall and the retail floor space will be expanded from 2000m2 to 2500m2, sufficient for the anticipated growth in tourism for the coming decade. The objective of the new retail and food and beverage design concepts is to incorporate a strong cultural representation that meets and exceeds the needs of PJIAE’s passengers and by doing so, to increase the overall performance of all concessionaires and PJIAE N.V.
One of the biggest changes for the new departure hall is the increase in floor space for food and beverages. This decision was driven by an extensive passenger survey and the latest traveler trends and insights whereby passengers indicated the desire for a wide variety of food choices and options.
Emile van der Weerd, Executive Consultant of PJIAE N.V. comments: “What excites me is to further build on PJIAE’s success together with the team and our partners, exploring new ways to improve the overall performance and the passenger experience. Adding an entirely new Food and Beverage platform is only logical, Sint Maarten is the culinary capital of the Caribbean, holding the world record of melting-pot restaurants per square kilometer.”
Maggie Gumbs, Jr. Non-Aeronautical Manager responds: ‘’ The insights in purchase behavior and our aviation research helped PJIAE N.V. to develop and further enhance the concession mix in the departure hall. Together with Chandra Offringa, our Marketing Manager, we will guide and assist the concessionaires with their product offering in line with the passenger wants, needs, and desires.’’
John Baker, an architect from IXI Design responds: “It has been a real pleasure for me to be working with the team of PJIAE. My team and I are looking forward to working closely with all concessionaires to come to a unique design for the new departure hall. I am convinced travelers will love the new set-up and looking forward to seeing the plan coming to life.”
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 airport expects to handle 1.2 million passengers and 54.000 aircraft movements. The reconstruction works of the airport have started in September 2021. The departure hall will be ready in 2023. Contractor Ballast Nedam International Projects is actively seeking cooperation with local people and companies which is essential for the socio-economic recovery of Sint Maarten.
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.