Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication (TEATT) Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher “broke ground” on Friday for the construction of the new Fixed Based Operator (FBO) facility at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA). The project (a private jet terminal) should take about 18 months to complete and will give St. Maarten a world class facility to effectively handle and enhance the private air travel business that is vital to the airport and by extension St. Maarten.
Calling the moment a “momentous occasion for St. Maarten and for SXM Airport”, the Minister said “though we are currently not under the ideal circumstances and our beautiful airport still has some ways to go to regain its splendor, the groundbreaking of a new FBO facility to a positive and hopeful sign for the future of our international airport.”
She congratulated the management and board of the airport (past and present) for getting to this starting point for this very important project. She also congratulated the FBO operators “who will be able to move customers through a world class FBO facility and meet many of their needs.”
“The FBO facility, 25 years in the making, will represent another major step which forms an important part of SXM Airport’s Capital Improvement Program for which the airport obtained financing on the international market,” the Minister said.
“This new FBO facility is a tribute to our past and future success. We executed hundreds of private aircraft movements last year and look forward to growing these numbers in the coming years. In fact, I’ve been told that despite the devastation our entire country has had to ensure, including our airport, private aircraft numbers for the upcoming season remain solid,” she said.
The Minister added: “We want to be the leader in business aviation and we are not short of competition for that title. To get there, our airport will remain dedicated to world-class service and the highest levels of safety and security. With an outstanding Fixed Base Operations facilities, we will provide our customers with an experience that will enhance their air travel experience, with a touch of St. Maarten flare.”
She said the facility will be a great enhancement to St. Maarten’s world-class airport facilities and “we are thankful for the opportunity to celebrate this ground breaking with colleagues and friends.”
“We look forward to welcoming customers from around the world, and providing them with premium business aviation services. Once again congratulations to all and our people are looking forward to seeing their airport and their new FBO Facility up and running very soon. I am sure you will make us all very proud,” the Minister concluded.