PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Christophe Emmanuel believes the entrance of Beacon Hill needs to be re-routed to prevent any further loss of life or injuries because of jet blasts at Princess Juliana International Airport SXM.
Speaking during the Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday, Emmanuel said that in discussions with Public Works Department Head Claudius Buncamper VROMI is considering closing the entire area, prohibiting traffic flow and re-route the busy road through another Simpson Bay road.
Emmanuel said talks with the Airport need to begin, but there comes a time when Government needs to step in and make the responsible decision to protect residents and tourists.
The death of Gayleen McEwan, a tourist from New Zealand who died after being blown over by the jet blast from a departing aircraft on Wednesday, July 12, continues to make international headlines, causing criticism for Government not looking to keep tourists coming to the island safe.
Not giving any specifics about his plan, Emmanuel said businesses will also be relocated.
“There should be no traffic in that area. When we have more information about our plan, the public will be notified. We are also looking at pushing out the fence a little bit more. The concrete section of the road will also be removed and this won’t hamper the sand anymore. These accidents are not good for our image and this is why something needs to be done,” said Emmanuel. He added that despite large signs boards warning visitors about jet blast, tourists still go to the area and hold on to the fence.