AIRPORT–Corporate Travel to St. Maarten is about to return to a more relaxed setting, as Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) will select a contractor soon to begin upgrading its fixed based operations (FBO) building.
FBO exclusively caters to PJIA’s high-end travel operations. It offers a range of services for private jet customers, general aviation and crew. The existing facility is located West of the terminal building and was used temporarily for arriving passengers post-Hurricane Irma in 2017.
The remodelling of the existing FBO building will allow jet-set travellers to move through the processing more efficiently and offers a more spacious area with passport control, Customs, and security points. Modifications will also be made to the lounge for the luxury traveller.
The new design calls for a two-storey building, as the FBO operators’ administrative offices will remain in the compound, but relocate to the second storey of the building. The FBO operators include ExecuJet and Arrindell Aviation by Signature N.V.
PJIA management will meet with the potential contractors for a site visit today, Friday,, when the request for proposal (RFP) and the project renderings will be presented. The contractors will have to submit their proposals by November 19. PJIA had funds for the remodelling set aside prior to the passing of Hurricane Irma last year.
Arrindell Aviation General Manager Matumi Shigemoto said on Thursday, “This new development of our current facilities of the FBO building is extremely welcome. It will give us a positive and much-needed outlook on our seriousness of regaining our market share in the general aviation business.
“Our customers and staff have been having very challenging experiences with our current condition post-Hurricanes Irma and Maria and it’s extremely important that we make progressive and positive steps in rebuilding our brand and leadership role in the Caribbean.”
He pointed to the fact that Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Antigua have been enjoying the growth of their market share while St. Maarten is still recovering. “But we need to bounce back and show that we are resilient and that we will be back stronger and better than we were before,” he concluded.