PM Silveria Jacobs delivering speech at PJIAE ceremony


Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten (January 14, 2024) – On Friday, January 12, 2024, the Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V. (PJIAE) celebrated a big milestone in the development of the new terminal. Since the start of the rebuilding of the airport in 2021, the project has made significant progress and Friday marked a great moment to celebrate with stakeholders. The new departure hall is now ready to welcome all passengers and by the end of January 2024, the new check-in area will open in a phased approach.



The newly opened departure hall marks a significant milestone in PJIAE’s ongoing commitment to provide the best possible services and amenities for its passengers. It is the first phase of an extensive upgrade that introduces a fresh and vibrant atmosphere, enhancing the overall passenger experience in the terminal building. Travelers will have access to a limited variety of retail and dining options, with several others set to launch in the next months, all carefully selected to enrich the airport experience for all travelers.



The departure hall is designed for passenger growth in the years to come. The new hall, spanning over 10,000 square meters, is equipped with cutting-edge technology, and is designed to accommodate 2.5 million passengers. It is a state-of-the-art terminal where the passenger screening and emigration process showcases the latest technological advancements in use.



By the end of January 2024, the new check-in area will be opened in a phased approach. The check-in area is designed to provide passengers with the best check-in experience, including the ability to check-in over-sized luggage. The unique hybrid self-bag drops are also equipped with counters and can be operated by the airline staff, when needed. This gives the airport the increased flexibility to meet the growth demand in the future.



Brian Mingo, CEO of PJIAE, expressed his gratitude for this milestone: ‘We are so proud and thankful for all our colleagues and partners who made it happen! On behalf of the Managing Board, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all. PJIAE is excited to welcome more passengers to the new and enhanced departure hall, offering state-of-the-art facilities and an improved travel experience’.



Silveria Jacobs, Prime-Minister of Sint Maarten, commented in her speech: ‘It is through resilience, dedication, and hard work that we have achieved remarkable results for this airport and our nation. Together with all the stakeholders, we have soared beyond obstacles in transforming this airport. Today shows the spirit of our resilient nation that strives for greatness. As we celebrate our achievements today, let us continue to forge ahead, fueled by the belief that with perseverance, there are no limits to what we can accomplish together for our beloved nation. I want to say thank you to all Saint Martiners, big and small who contributed to this project’.




Celebrate 80 years of Princess Juliana Airport


As the airport eagerly approaches its 80th birthday, preparations are underway for a royal celebration later in 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.




Re-opening with excellence


Following the completion of the Departure – and Check-in area, the attention will shift to the second phase, which will be the construction of an upgraded Arrival Hall. The new Arrival Hall will provide a welcoming space for passengers, offering improved baggage handling systems, efficient immigration and customs processes, and enhanced passenger facilities. This phase aims to optimize the passenger flow and ensures a seamless transition from the aircraft to the terminal.



Construction of the Arrival Hall is anticipated to be finalized by the second quarter in 2024, in time for summer travel. Throughout the finalization of the project, PJIAE remains committed to minimizing disruptions for its employees, travelers, and other airport community members. Careful planning and coordination will be undertaken to ensure that construction activities do not hinder the airport’s operations and that passengers continue to enjoy a seamless travel experience.



The phased approach to rebuilding the new terminal reflects PJIAE’s dedication to upgrade towards world-class airport standards while adapting to the evolving needs of the aviation industry. This transformative project aims to position the airport as a hub of convenience, comfort, and efficiency, allowing passengers to travel with ease and confidence beyond the Caribbean region.



About Princess Juliana International Airport


Princess Juliana International Airport is the second busiest airport in the Northeast Caribbean and serves as a vital airport hub for Saba, St Eustatius, St Barthelemy, Anguilla, Dominica, Nevis, and Tortola. The airport stands as one of the largest employers on the island, with 305 workers employed directly and a total of 1700 workers within the entire airport community. In 2023, Sint Maarten airport expects to handle 1.5 million passengers and 54,000 aircraft movements. Reconstruction efforts at the airport commenced in September 2021, with the new terminal hall scheduled for completion in Q2 2024.


Historic Timeline


Princess Juliana Airport was officially inaugurated by Princess Juliana in 1944. In 2006, Her Majesty Queen Beatrix inaugurated the new terminal building. PJIAE underwent a major reconstruction project in 2020, following significant damage to the main terminal caused by Hurricane IRMA in September 2017. After six years, the project is in its final stages and is set to be completed by Q2 2024.




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