We have noted with much regret recent media reports and YouTube postings about an incident over the Easter holidays in which two young persons were said to have been blown from the fence at the west end of the Princess Juliana International Airport runway, as a jet aircraft was taking off.
Fortunately the injuries suffered particularly by one young woman involved were reportedly not debilitating.
The airport is currently considering heightened security in that area, in consultation with the St. Maarten government to allow for a stricter implementation and reinforcement of the warnings to the general public posted along the fence.
We will continue to take all necessary measures and precautions to ensure the safety of all users of the airport, including persons visiting St. Maarten, and we urge everyone to adhere to all public safety warnings.
Princess Juliana International Airport has always done everything within its power to enhance the personal safety of all visitors to the destination, and in particular, users and visitors to our airport.
However, incidents such as this unfortunate one emphasize the need for everyone, including all our visitors to heed the clear warnings – about the dangers of jet blast – posted along the airport fence.
We acknowledge the obvious attraction by visitors of planes landing so close to the beach, which has added to making the destination quite popular; nevertheless, no amount of excitement or thrill can justify putting one's life in danger.
Measures currently in place include double fencing, warning signs; and brightly-painted guardrails—all of which have been implemented in consultation with the government to deter dangerous activity.