PRINCESS JULIANA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WELCOMES STATE SECRETARY OF THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS ALEXANDRA VAN HUFFELEN
SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten (FEBRUARY 20, 2022) Today, Princess Juliana International Airport welcomed the newly appointed State Secretary of the Netherlands Alexandra van Huffelen to the airport as part of her introductory visit to the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Princess Juliana International Airport’s CEO Brian Mingo and Baris Haboglu Project leader from Ballast Nedam International Projects showed the State Secretary around the reconstruction site of the new terminal. Van Huffelen saw the impressive works on the reconstruction of the airport terminal as well as the impact that this will have on the future economy of the island and its residents. The reconstruction of the airport terminal is of vital importance for the whole economy on the island.
Brian Mingo, CEO Princess Juliana Airport: ‘I’m delighted that we can show the State Secretary the progress that has been made by the team. The good cooperation with and support from The Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations, the Government of St.Maarten, the NRPB, and other stakeholders is and has been of inestimable value to the project’.
Alexandra van Huffelen, State Secretary of the Netherlands: ‘It took some time but I can now say that I’m impressed by the progress that has been made since the devastating hurricane Irma in 2017. The rebuilding of the airport terminal is a huge milestone for Sint Maarten and I’m happy to see now with my own eyes that the reconstruction of the airport is taking place and that the project team is making huge progress towards the opening of the new terminal hall in August of 2023’.
The Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications (TEATT), Roger Lawrence stated ” I am pleased to note from the PJIA’s reconstruction team that the former departure hall is expected to be fully completed and operational by December of 2022. That is a significant step as the full completion of PJIA is planned for Q3 of 2023. Milestones such as these are essential in terms of accountability, as well as assisting in overall capacity discussions with stakeholders to give clear timelines as it relates to the reconstruction process and ensure these timelines are upheld.
I would like to thank the airport staff for remaining steadfast during these suboptimal times as we look ahead to PJIA’s restoration.”
Baris Haboglu, Project Manager Ballast Nedam International Projects: ‘Ballast Nedam International Projects has signed a contract for the renovation of the airport on St. Maarten in August 2021. One important pillar of the contract is to work with local people and companies wherever possible. By actively seeking out cooperation with local people and companies, we are not only building a renewed airport on St. Maarten, but also sharing knowledge, creating work opportunities and establishing good cooperation. With this vision we are combining our international expertise with local experience. We expect to have about 170 to 200 local people working at peak times. In order to connect these people and talents to the project, we have been organizing several job fairs on the island’.
About Princess Juliana International Airport
Princess Juliana International Airport is the second busiest airport in the Northeast Caribbean. It is an important airport hub for Saba, St Eustatius, St Barthelemy, Anguilla, Dominica, Nevis and Tortola. The airport is one of the largest employers on the island. It has 277 workers and an additional 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. By the end of 2022 the departure hall will be ready to use for passengers. In the summer of 2023, the new terminal will be finished. Contractor Ballast Nedam International Projects is actively seeking cooperation with local people and companies which is essential for socio-economic recovery of Sint Maarten.
Princess Juliana Airport was officially opened by Princess Juliana in 1944. In 2006 her Majesty Queen Beatrix inaugurated the new terminal building. In 2017 St.Maarten was hit by Hurricane Irma (Cat 5) and the airport’s terminal was heavily damaged. In January 2020 Princess Juliana International Airport signed the WorldBank/EIB loan to reconstruct the terminal. In July 2021 Ballast Nedam International Project was the main contractor selected for the reconstruction of the airport terminal.