News & Media

All hands on deck at the airport during the holiday season; new departure hall ready in 2023.

SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten (December 15, 2022) The holiday season has just started in St Maarten. Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIAE) expects volumes of over 7,000 travelers per day during the holiday season through March 2023. Recently, PJIAE has been working hard on the Season Action Plan which focuses on improving the processes at the airport and on the number of passengers and flights that can be processed. The results of this will be visible.  

Additional measures  

PJIAE has taken several additional measures to ensure that the passenger flow runs smoothly, and this will provide passengers with a better airport experience within the given circumstances. The office staff is also working on the floor to support the airport community during the busy holiday season. Passengers have been accommodated and given the opportunity to watch the World Cup Football at the Airport. Five new TV screens have been installed at the gates and waiting areas. 


The marketing team has arranged the Christmas decorations throughout the airport and Christmas music to cheer up the passengers during their journey. The cooling system has been upgraded by the technical department to ensure a comfortable temperature, and bottles of cool drinking water will be provided to passengers to keep them hydrated.  


Communication to travelers   


For travelers flying from PJIAE this season, we have listed several tips that will be communicated to travelers:  

1. Arrive on time. PJIAE welcomes travelers to the departure hall starting three hours before their flight departs. This helps to spread the queues to the check-in counters and security control better and have a smoother flow.   

2. Check-in online in advance for your flight. Many airlines allow travelers to check in online. This saves time at the check-in counters. 

3. Travel lightly. Preferably leave the big suitcase at home and no more than one piece of hand luggage. 

4. Be prepared to wait in line. Put on comfortable shoes and remove your accessories while waiting in line for hand luggage screening. Click here for more information on moving smoothly and quickly through PJIAE’s security control.


Building the Princess for St Maarten   

The reconstruction works continue at the terminal building. According to the new planning, the departure hall will be fully operational before the 2023 high season, and the new terminal building will be completed by April 2024.  


In the meantime, PJIAE kindly asks visitors to be aware of noise and hindrances during our construction period. Even though most of the work is being done on the interior of the building, visitors will be able to see some ongoing works on the exterior of the airport building. 


Work in progress   

Today, the Planning Department of PJIAE completed phase one (1) of the Tarmac Surface Repair project on the apron. Windward Roads was the contracted party to make the repairs on the apron which was needed to ensure adequate parking and restoring the much-needed capacity of the airport’s infrastructure.  


The goal was to also meet the high season to accommodate the aircraft parking. Phase one (1) of the project also included the resurfacing of the bypass. The bypass is used to hold the aircraft before taking off, while another aircraft is landing. With the resurfacing of the area, a smoother ride to the threshold is created. Phase two (2) of the project will be completed throughout the first quarter of 2023. 


About Princess Juliana International Airport  

Princess Juliana International Airport is one of the busiest airport in the Northeast Caribbean. It is the most important airport hub for Saba, St Eustatius, St Barths, 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 ready. In the summer of 2024, the new terminal will be finished. Contractor Ballast Nedam International Projects (BNIP) 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