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Caribbean-On-Line / St. Barts / News / Transportation / New St. Maarten Airport Up and Flying

New St. Maarten Airport Up and Flying

Princess Juliana International Airport opened on Wednesday, October 25 with Winair's flight to Saba. The new US $87 million terminal has state-of-the-art facilities for checking-in, handling baggage, screening systems, departure gates with jet bridges and buses to the airplanes, a food court with 12 restaurants, international shopping among 27 boutiques, escalators - a first in St. Maarten - and, last but not least, air-conditioning.

However, as reported in St. Maarten's Daily Herald, the Managing Director of Winair stated that the new airport has more than doubled Winair's cost of operating out of St. Maarten. The check-in counters at the new airport are not designated to a specific airline. Instead, the counters rotate among different airlines depending on the current need. Winair does not agree with how the airlines are being charged for use of this system and the communication lines among the airlines. In addition, some delays may be expected since Winair's personnel are working with a completely new reservation and boarding control system. The airline suggests that passengers arrive 1.5 hours before departure time until their staff is more familiar with the new system.

The old airport is scheduled to be demolished before the end of the year, and already there is talk of selling momentos on e-Bay!

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