SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten — About 50 airport partners gathered at the Terminal Building for a walk-through tour on Thursday, September 20, 2018, two weeks after the first anniversary of the super-Category 5 hurricane Irma that inflicted severe damages to the facility. The tour allowed them to get a firsthand look at the progress that is being made on the mold remediation works which is very important for the return of the temporary operations back in the terminal building. The airport community currently operates from the temporary Departure and Arrival pavilions.
The tour was led by employees of the Projects, Planning and Systems Control and Technical departments, who assured everyone that the ongoing Mold Remediation and Surface Removal Decontamination process is on schedule. The attendees were cleared to view the areas where the cleaning of the mold contamination process has already been completed. The airport partners perused the Meet and Greet Hall, the Arrival Hall, Baggage Handling, Security and Departure Holding area. On site were the project leaders of the BMS CAT International, who were contracted to execute the works.
The Departure and Arrival operations will be temporarily transferred to a section of the ground floor of the terminal building in “Package One” of the reconstruction. Following the migration, the airport operations will be carried out from the Baggage Claim section up to the Departure B-gates.
Furthermore, the airline schedules for the 2018-2019 high tourist season reveals an increase in flight and passenger movements at SXM Airport. Therefore, the temporary pavilions will not be able to handle the volume of passengers, thus the importance of moving the operations into the terminal. Currently, the temporary pavilions seat 325 passengers, while the transfer into the ground floor will see the seating capacity for passengers increase significantly between 800 to 1000 seats. There will also be additional check-in counters and a more efficient security-controlled operation.
The SXM Airport Managing Board members, CFO and acting CEO, Ravi Daryanani and COO, Michel Hyman, gave the directive to have the airport partners participate in the walk-through tour. “Building a new terminal complex is a massive undertaking, but the result will be well worth all the effort. The airport has grown into an ever-evolving hub airport and there is an urgent need for a terminal building that meets the safety standards of powerful hurricanes like Irma. The period of rebuilding will allow the Princess Juliana International Airport to be better equipped to face the future,” added the management duo.
On November 10, 2018 the existing terminal building will be 12 years old. The airport is also set to celebrate its 75th anniversary on December 3, 2018.