AIRPORT:— The Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIAE) is set to start operations as of October 6th 2017. According to information provided to SMN News management of PJIAE has decided to open for commercial flights for all airlines that want to resume flying to St. Maarten.
While PJIAE will resume operation, the terminal building will remain closed as the entire roof of PJIAE terminal building has to change. SMN News understands that PJIAE suffered over $100M in damages and the repairs to the roof have not yet begun. It is further understood that the damage assessment is not yet completed neither can the bidding for the roof repairs begin. SMN News learned that PJAIE building was flooded during the passing of hurricane Irma and Maria and each time rain falls the airport terminal building is drenched with water.
Concessionaries at PJIAE are up in arms because they claim that while PJIAE building is fully insured, they have no private insurance for their merchandise. Reliable information reaching SMN News states that the concessionaires are claiming that while members of the public are not allowed to enter PJIAE premises they are losing merchandise. They alleged that even liquor is being stolen from the liquor store and believed that these merchandises are stolen by the marines that are currently occupying the airport.
Another hindrance is the lack of information to the concessionaires who chose to keep their merchandise in the damaged terminal building and to date have not taken the necessary precautions to remove their merchandise from the badly damaged terminal building. Efforts made to reach PJIAE management on Thursday has proved futile however, SMN News learned that management of PJIAE met with the Council of Ministers on Thursday to fully update them on their plans to reopen on October 6th.
No date set for restarting of commercial flights
PHILIPSBURG:— Minister responsible for Aviation Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher has re-iterated that no official date has been announced by government for the resumption of commercial flights into St. Maarten.
The Minister stressed that travelers need to be careful with any information unless it comes from the official source, in other words, the government of St. Maarten. She said there is some confusion being created by, among other things, airlines announcing dates that they hope to resume service to the island.
In some cases, airlines are allowing people to book tickets although the green light has not been given by government to execute commercial flights. “We have stated before and will state again, the Princess Juliana International Airport has to meet various safety and operational regulations before it can handle commercial flights,” the Minister said.
“When we are at that point to accept commercial flights again, we will announce this and in due time. At the moment there is no date. We urge potential passengers abroad and at home to wait on official notification,” she added.
Press Release from the Ministry of TEATT
Source: St. Martin News Network http://www.smn-news.com/st-maarten-st-martin-news/27211-airport-set-to-open-october-6th-for-commercial-flights-terminal-building-suffered-over-100m-in-damages-due-to-irma-updated.html