UP Leader Concerned about Store Closures at Airport and Job Losses


I am extremely concerned about what is happening with the closure of stores at the Princess Juliana International Airport, and what will happen with the employees.

Some who have been working in the airport for over 23-years. What about the stores that have been there for over 34-years?

We cannot just throw these people out on the street. This is unjust!


A study by InterVISTAS Consulting Group presented last summer to the Airport forecasts that passenger traffic, using the main terminal building, but not including FBO traffic, will range between approximately 1.8 million and two million passengers by 2020.

This is all good, but the people that work at the airport, that work in the stores are just as important as the forecasted hundreds of thousands that will pass through out airport. These people also play a role, and have contributed to the building of this economy which is dependent on our one pillar tourism economy.

These people have also contributed to the success of our airport which has allowed us to build a multi-million dollar facility therefore further enhancing our hub function within this part of the Caribbean.

The store employee’s role may have been small, but they still contributed to the success and it’s not right to treat them in this manner.

They must be able to continue to share in the success of Country Sint Maarten and the success at the country’s only international airport.

If there are challenges, then solutions should be found in collaboration with the stakeholders some of whom have been there for over 30-years.

It’s not correct to wipe out a whole set of businesses and employees for the greenback. We are a compassionate people and must remain that way.

Let’s work together in finding a solution that is in the benefit and interests of all.

Theo Heyliger

Leader of the United People’s (UP) party