New planning timeline for Airport Terminal Reconstruction Project | SOUALIGA NEWSDAY

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) - This week the Managing Board of the Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V. (PJIAE) informed its stakeholders, the Council of Ministers, the Steering Committee, the National Recover Project Bureau (NRPB) and the World Bank about the adjusted planning for the Airport Terminal Reconstruction project, as a result of unexpected additional works. 

During the demolition of the terminal building, Ballast Nedam International Projects (BNIP) discovered that the fire retardant paint, on the interior steel structure, due to extended water exposure after the hurricanes in 2017, consequently started to peel and deteriorate. All steel beams have to be prepared and painted with a new fire retardant paint. This repair is an essential safety element for the airport terminal and part of the building code to protect the passengers and employees in the facilities. The Managing Board of PJIAE and BNIP have therefore developed a new project plan. 

Based on this new plan, the departure hall will be finished before the start of the 2023 – 2024 season. The new arrival and ticket hall will follow in Q2 2024. The net impact of the substantially increased scope of repairs of the fire retardant paint, and the challenges of sourcing a sufficient workforce, is an expected 7-months extension towards the project’s completion, based on a calculation done by BNIP. The extension and extra works have a price impact of USD 10 - 15 million, representing 7 - 10% of the total budget of the USD 154.5 million reconstruction project of which the main contract is USD 89M. The equipment packages, along with administrative costs, make up the difference.

Baris Haboglu, Project Manager BNIP: ‘We are incredibly pleased with the close cooperation with PJIAE. We have already accomplished a lot since the start of the reconstruction, but as it is with projects like this one, you sometimes run into big challenges during the execution. I am pleased that we have come to a solution, and we are convinced that this is the best option. We will do everything we can to deliver the new departure hall and terminal as quickly as possible’. 

Brian Mingo, CEO of PJIAE: ‘We see and value the hard work; we see the many moving parts and we understand the complexity of this project. We need everyone to understand the importance of having this reconstruction completed correctly and safely. For that we need all hands-on deck to get this done as soon as possible and are fully committed to take on this new challenge’. 


Princess Juliana International Airport is the one of the busiest airports in the Northeast Caribbean. It is the most important airport hub for Saba, St Eustatius, St Barths, Anguilla, Dominica, Nevis and Tortola. The airport is one of the largest employers on the island. It has 277 workers and 1700 workers within the entire airport community. In 2022, PJIA expects to handle nearly 1.35 million passengers and 54.000 aircraft movements. The reconstruction works of the airport started in September 2021. The new departure hall will be ready in 2023. Contractor Ballast Nedam International Projects is actively seeking cooperation with local people and companies which is essential for socio-economic recovery of Sint Maarten.     

Historic Timeline  

Princess Juliana Airport was officially opened by Princess Juliana in 1944. In 2006 her Majesty Queen Beatrix inaugurated the new terminal building. In 2017 the airport was hit by Hurricane Irma (Cat 5). In January 2020 Princess Juliana International Airport signed the World Bank/EIB loan to reconstruct the terminal. In July 2021 Ballast Nedam International Project signed the contract to start the reconstruction.