PJIAE and WINAIR treat PWAS students to special island tour


 The Princess Juliana Int’l Airport operating company N.V. (PJIAE) brought smiles to faces of the graduating class of the Prins Willem Alexander School (PWAS) on Friday by organizing a very unique adventure. The students of PWAS were treated to an around-the-island tour – by airplane!

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The St. Maarten-based airline WINAIR, was the designated carrier that took the students on a 15-minute flight around St. Maarten.
“The management of WINAIR was more than willing to accommodate us in this initiative, and for that we are very grateful,” said PJIAE Marketing & Communications Manager Kalifa Hickinson, who also accompanied the students on the flight.
The 21 students arrived at the Princess Juliana Int’l Airport around 9 o’clock on Friday morning. By 9:30 a.m., the group had begun its tour of the Air Traffic Control facilities followed by a tour of the airport’s Terminal Building. Three school officials accompanied the 21 students.
Around 11:45 a.m., the 11 pupils (those with permission from their parents), along with one teacher and their guidance counselor, were ready to commence boarding at Gate C1. The students were bused to WINAIR’s DH 6 Twin Otter aircraft, after which the scenic flight of a very excited group of students ensued. Menzies provided busing.
“This is my first time flying on a small plane,” one student mentioned, while others had never been on an airplane. All, however, were happy to be airborne, said Hickinson.
Upon landing, the students began to cheer and applaud the pilots for the experience, and for bringing them back safely. “This was my first time ever on a plane … it was ‘fresh!’” one student commented. WINAIR gave the young passengers goodie bags after the flight and PJIAE provided lunch to the students.
PJIAE, in early April 2012, “adopted” the Prins Willem Alexander Primary School for special needs children, and remains committed to the school. “We were happy to have received the request for the tour from PWAS, and even happier that we were able to make it possible. The children were delighted,” Hickinson said.