News & Media
SXM Airport’s New Terminal Building is Seven
on Eve of St. Maarten Day
SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten (November 8, 2013) -The ultra-modern Terminal Building at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) will be seven years old on the eve of St. Maarten Day. The facility was officially opened on November 10, 2006 by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands during her royal visit.
“Not only is the new terminal building a beauty to behold, it has become a landmark that other countries in the region” are fashioning their airport after, said SXM managing director, Regina LaBega.
“Coincidentally, we are also celebrating our 70th anniversary this year,” she continued, “making this seventh year of the terminal building a double celebration.”
LaBega said that the history of the transformation of the terminal building reflects the history of tourism and economic development on the island.
“The Terminal Building and its several transformations since 1943 may be seen as the symbol of the development of not only the airport, but also of the island’s tourism economy over the decades,” she said.
“In 1964, a Terminal Building was constructed to replace the original one as tourism started to seriously develop on the island. Twenty-two years later, as tourism began to boom and passenger traffic shot up, another Terminal Building became necessary. In 2006, another 20 years after, the brand new, US$100 million ultra-modern Terminal Building was completed to serve the people of our island, and to cater to the increased passenger traffic and the demands of the hub function of the airport,” LaBega said.
The new Terminal Building can handle about 2.5 million passengers annually. Its four-level, fully air-conditioned, and spacious modern facilities span an area of 30,500m2 and consist of 12 boarding gates, including 4 passenger loading jet bridges; 46 check-in positions, all equipped with CUTE (Common Use Terminal Equipment) and 8 CUSS kiosks or self-service check-in systems.
“With these and other amenities, our goal continues to be increasing customer satisfaction and ensuring that the 1.7 million passengers that make use of our facilities each year have an experience that will move them,” LaBega said.
In order to meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards a Runway End Safety Area (RESA) was constructed at the East end of the runway, aimed at minimizing the risk of damage to an aircraft undershooting or overrunning the runway.
In fact, the rehabilitation of the runway, which is currently being carried out, forms a significant part of the Capital Improvement Program that was embarked upon thanks to the successful floating of a new bond issue on the international market. This was facilitated by the Moody’s rating which made SXM Airport the first government-owned company to obtain such an important rating by a world renowned agency.
Other projects in the Capital Improvement Program include the relocation of the Fuel Farm, the construction of a new Fixed Base Operator (FBO) facility, renovation of the Cargo Building and the beautification of the Airport roundabout.
“As an award winning airport, we have to continue to innovate, renovate and improve our services in order to remain competitive, especially in view of our increasing role as a regional hub,” said LaBega. “This is among the main reasons we have rebranded the SXM airport.”
“The people of St. Maarten have an airport they can be proud of because it is their continuing support and the work of the entire staff past and present that has made it into the regional leader it is today,” she added.