AIRPORT–Emergency relief flights from Curaçao to St. Maarten will be executed specifically for caregivers and freight as of Tuesday. The return flight will take patients and tourists who can demonstrate they have a reason to leave the country.
Other travellers can access one of the flights to link the two sister Dutch islands in coming days only if there is space available.
The emergency flights as of Tuesday will no longer be carried out by the Dutch Ministry of Defence, but will be organised by the Dutch Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations. Emergency relief flights will terminate as soon as commercial flights are again possible into Princess Juliana International Airport SXM.
Travellers must meet certain prerequisites established for both legs of the flights.
From St. Maarten to Curaçao the flights are for people who have to leave the country for medical reasons. A doctor’s statement from St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) is necessary, according to a Ministry statement.
Spaces are also available for tourists who can demonstrate that there is a need to leave the country. They must have valid travel documents and proof of their place of residence or residence in their own country (passport or driver’s licence).
The flight from Curaçao to St. Maarten is for residents or temporary residents of St. Maarten with valid travel documents who are urgently required to return home. It is also for Saba and St. Eustatius residents. However, they must take care of their continuing journey from St. Maarten to Saba or St. Eustatius.
Applications to fly on the relief flights should be e-mailed to
VNW@vnw.minbzk.nl with the applicant’s name, telephone number and e-mail address, reason for the application, official name as stated on passport, passport number and expiration date, desired flight date (not guaranteed) and in e-mail subject state which leg of flight is needed.
Those in no hurry to head back to St. Maarten or Curaçao are advised by the Ministry to wait on the resumption of commercial air traffic into St. Maarten.
It will take some time until the airport is fully operational for commercial air traffic. The Dutch Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment are actively contributing to the re-opening of the commercial airline airport as soon as possible. Knowledge and resources are available for this purpose.
Work is ongoing on the fence to secure the airport and so are repairs to the Air Traffic Control tower. Based on these developments, a first regional commercial airline has announced its return to flying soon, the Ministry said.