PHILIPSBURG:— The St. Maarten Marine Trades Association (SMMTA) is working with the Sint Maarten Civil Aviation Authority to make sure that boaters are aware that there have been many complaints from concerned stakeholders about vessels with high masts mooring just outside of the yellow buoys in Maho Bay to observe the landing aircraft at the Princess Julianna International Airport.
The Civil Aviation Authority is concerned because sailboats’ masts are posing a hindrance to landing aircraft on runway 10 and the Department of Civil Aviation, Shipping and Maritime Affairs has on several occasions had to call the Coast Guard to escort vessels from the area in question.
While vessels are currently allowed to navigate and anchor outside of the yellow buoys in Maho Bay, the Civil Aviation Authority would like boaters’ cooperation in staying clear of the approach area for airplanes landing at Princess Julianna Airport, especially if they are sailboats because of the potential danger their masts pose to the aircraft. If boaters do not cooperate with this request the Civil Aviation Authority will be forced to move the yellow buoys further out in the bay.
The Board of the SMMTA has forwarded an official letter from the Sint Maarten Civil Aviation Authority to all of its members by e-mail and thanked Mr. Louis Halley of the Department of Civil Aviation, Shipping and Maritime Affairs for working with the SMMTA and all stakeholders to help resolve this issue. “The SMMTA appreciates the open lines of communication with Mr. Halley and his team and we will do our best to help get the message out about not anchoring in the approach area for landing aircraft.”
Source: St. Martin News Network SMMTA Informs Boaters about Anchoring in Maho Bay.