Airlift conference returns to St.Maarten/St. Martin

The 4th annual Caribbean Aviation Meetup conference will be held June 11-13 on St. Maarten/St. Martin
The conference is hosted by St. Maarten/St. Martin and supported by a number of major local and international industry companies. Two years ago, the event was successfully held on St. Maarten before the island was hit by the hurricanes.

The Caribbean Aviation Meetup conference, CARIBAVIA, is a results and solutions oriented communication platform for stakeholders of airlift which are the aviation and tourism industries. The topics of the 30 sessions will vary from “Friendly Skies; Liberalizing Airlift in the Caribbean” to
“Regional Airport Design For A Profit Making Concept”, and from “Re-Energizing Destination Marketing” to “Training And Mentoring To Service A Demanding Clientele” and “U.S. Preclearance”.

“St. Maarten is actively engaged in redeveloping its Tourism Product post-Irma and the Aviation Industry, and in particular, the reconstruction of the Princess Juliana International Airport to include US Pre-Clearance is paramount.” Considering the importance of Air Transport to the future of our tourism economy, forums such as Caribbean Aviation Meetup provides our people with access to vital information that will aid in the redevelopment of PJIA to meet and improve our Aviation Standards,”
says Honorable Minister of Tourism Economic Affairs Transportation and Telecommunication Mr. Stuart Johnson.
“The opportunity to get best practice information from some of the top Aviation Experts in the region and internationally cannot be understated. At present, the Department of Civil Aviation & Maritime Services in St. Maarten, is working towards regaining its CAT 1 Status. This will create new opportunities for our local carriers to enter into Interline Agreements with US-based Carriers for connection of travelers to our neighboring islands from the US Mainland. This forms part of our strategic plan for further development of PJIA’s hub function and service to the region.

Whether travelling leisurely for vacation or business, Aviation activity generates tremendous economic benefits for the people of the Caribbean and in particular a tourism-dependent destination such as St. Maarten. Therefore, I wish to commend the organizers whose foresight it was to combine the two topics ‘Aviation and Tourism’ and establish the Caribbean Aviation Meetup”

The conference venue is the Simpson Bay Resort were the sessions on the first and third day, as well as the social events will take place. On the second conference day the sessions will be held at Grand Case airport and an exclusive ‘summit’ on luxury tourism for a limited number of participants will be held and hosted by St.Barth. Air Traffic Control Tower tours at Princess Juliana International Airport will be offered to the participnts.

“Having a conference like this on St.Maarten is important. I believe that we can all agree on the importance of airlift in our region. The event provides us with an opportunity to establish a leadership position in the Caribbean when aviation and related tourism issues are discussed in the region,” according to May-Ling Chun, Director of Tourism St. Maarten Tourism Bureau. “This unique platform gathers regional and international professionals and experts from both tourism and aviation industries, as well as representatives of government authorities. The possibilities to network are tremendous.”

The Caribbean Aviation Meetup is the first aviation and tourism conference in the region to pay attention to Africa in an extensive panel session titled “Opportunities for connecting the Caribbean to Africa through Travel and Tourism, as well as Trade, Investment and Cultural Exchange”, and an African Evening Social Event. Direct flight connections between a Caribbean hub and an African destination may be realized in the near future. Africa will become an important source market. St.Maarten has an opportunity to take the lead in establishing the relations and making the connections.

“Over the past four years the Caribbean Aviation Meetup has been getting increased international attention from major players of the aviation industry. CARIBAVIA, as it is often called has become a brand for an extraordinary and different kind of conference format,” comments Cdr.Bud Slabbaert the Chairman and Coordinator of the events, “The Meetup will be further developed to justify its reputation as the most important airlift conference in the region.”

Participants and will join the 3-day event from North and Central America, Europe and Africa, as well as the various Caribbean countries. Nine international journalists are currently accredited to cover the event from various perspectives.

For further information visit the CARIBAVIA website at