The Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten (SXM) celebrated the completion of a big milestone on Jan. 22 with the grand opening of new check in areas, complimenting the recent re-opening of a modern, new departures hall.
The new check-in areas and departure hall are now ready to welcome all passengers, and mark a significant milestone in the airport rebuild following the devastation of 2017's Hurricane Irma, and SXM's ongoing commitment to provide the best possible services and amenities.
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. Travellers now have access to a 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 travellers.
The departure hall is designed for passenger growth in the years to come, spanning over 10,000 square meters, and equipped with new technology designed to accommodate 2.5 million annual passengers.
It is a state-of-the-art terminal where the passenger screening and emigration process showcases the latest technological advancements in use.
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.
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’.
In the next few months, SXM's reopening will shift to its 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 is anticipated to be finalized by the second quarter of 2024, in time for summer travel.
"Careful planning and coordination will be undertaken by the airport authorities to ensure that construction activities do not hinder operations, and that passengers enjoy a seamless travel experience," reads a news release.