Great Bay, St. Martin – Acting Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic& Telecommunications (TEATT), the Honorable Cornelius de Weever officially opened the Departure Pavilion at the Princess Juliana International Airport over the weekend.
Minister De Weever mentioned during the opening ceremony that as acting Minister of TEATT, with the responsibility for the airport, government will do all within its power to facilitate the rebuilding and further development of the facilities, and will also continue to encourage strategic partnerships in this vital sector that will result in a win-win-win situation for all involved.
Hurricane Irma was the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the Leeward Islands on record, followed by Hurricane Maria two weeks later, and is the second-costliest Caribbean hurricane on record, after Maria. The devastation caused by Hurricane Irma is quite evident in the damage that was done to the airport.
“I can’t think of one St. Martiner, traveling out of the island, or returning after Hurricane Irma who has not been literally moved to tears to see what had become of our award winning Princess Juliana International Airport,” said Minister De Weever.
Minister De Weever further stated that the opening of the temporary Departure Pavilion, is indeed one step forward in improving the experience we have all had, having to depart from a makeshift area that did not have all the top notch conveniences we had been accustomed to over the years.
“Every adversity, they say, offers opportunities and Irma is certainly no exception. The rebuilding of the Terminal Building provides a great chance to incorporate into its design and planning, a sterile transit area and the US Pre-Clearance to which our government is fully committed and for which negotiations are continuing according to schedule,” said Minister De Weever.