The Princess Juliana International Airport reconstruction continues full steam ahead with the relaunch of its check-in area.
Following the significant damage incurred by Hurricane Irma in September 2017, the airport began reconstruction in September 2021 in a two-phased basis. The first phase focused on rebuilding the departure hall and check-in areas, with the departure hall re-opening pretty much on schedule in November 2023.
For those who traversed the airport well prior to the departure hall’s re-opening would have been able to peek through the glass windows to see a disaster zone where the original seating area was located. Thankfully that’s now in the history books as passengers can once again enjoy views of the apron and runway via the big glass front. Unfortunately the food and shopping situation is still a bit abysmal, as works are still being completed on some of the duty free areas in some sections of the departure hall.
In late January, the airport hit another milestone, re-launching its check-in area. Winair, a St. Maarten-based regional airline was the very first to welcome customers via the newly opened check-in hall.
Hans van de Velde, CEO of Winair, “It is an immense pleasure that we can check-in all our passengers via this new and enhanced check-in area. We thank [Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V.] PJIAE for all its efforts, the close cooperation and hard work. We are happy to see the modern facilities like the self-check-in kiosks and baggage drop-off, which will improve the customer journey and we are glad we, as the national carrier, are part of this.”
No longer are there black ceilings, exposed air conditioning ducting and water pipes as customers are once again greeted with high, brightly-lit ceilings with updated check-in counters and self check-in kiosks. It’s not all perfect as some sections are still undergoing final touches, but it’s still good to see the huge majority of refurbishment work out of the way.
With phase one of the way, the airport will now focus its efforts on rebuilding its arrivals hall, with an estimated Q2 2024 relaunch window, just in time for the summer rush.
Construction of the Arrival Hall is anticipated to be finalized by the second quarter of 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.
In the mean time, passengers entering St. Maarten via Princess Juliana will be filtered through a recently built Temporary Arrival Facility (TAF) until the new arrival hall is completed.
[Featured Photo: Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V. ]