Airport Terminal Reconstruction Project
September 18, 2019
April 21, 2020
First Disbursement Date
October 14, 2020
December 31, 2023
The Sint Maarten Trust Fund is financing the Airport Terminal Reconstruction Project (US$92 million: US$72 million plus US$20 million of additional financing approved in December 2021) to rebuild and restore the service and passenger capacity of Princess Juliana International Airport to pre-Hurricane Irma levels, with improved resilience towards future weather events. The project is also supporting the operational expenditures of the Airport Operating Company (US$21 million) in the event of major shocks during reconstruction. The project has also leveraged an additional US$50 million from the European Investment Bank and US$7 million from the Airport Operating Company
The Sint Maarten airport is an important regional hub that, before Hurricane Irma, catered to 1.8 million passengers and over 62,000 aircrafts each year.
Reconstruction of the airport terminal with improved resilience to hurricanes is a high priority for the Government of Sint Maarten. Airport reconstruction is paramount to promote swift recovery given the importance of tourism to the Sint Maarten economy as well as the sustainability of the airport operation. Restoring airport capacity is vital to economic recovery considering high economic dependency of the tourism sector on tourists’ arrivals through the airport. The terminal reconstruction will promote more tourists to come back to the islands and improve financial situation of PJIAE through receiving more revenues from passengers as well as terminal vendors, most of which are currently closed. A more resilient airport will ensure sustainable airport operation as well as disaster relief and emergency activities during the future natural disaster events. In the long term, the reconstruction will contribute to sustainable economic growth of Sint Maarten.
The Airport Terminal Reconstruction Project consists of four project components:
Component 1: Reconstruction of the Princess Julianna International Airport (“PJIA”) terminal facilities:
Provision of support for the reconstruction of the PJIA terminal facilities to restore airport function and to increase its resilience to hurricanes, including PJIA’s terminal reconstruction, consisting of terminal facility restoration and equipment reinstallation, including passenger boarding bridges, entrance doors, dry walls, furniture and counters, electrical and information technology systems, baggage handling system, security installations, and firefighting facilities.
Component 2: Capacity Building of and Project Management by PJIAE:
Provision of: (a) support to PJIAE on project implementation, management, and monitoring and evaluation - including environmental, social and fiduciary aspects; and (b) capacity building activities to improve airport resilience and air traffic safety.
Component 3: Capacity Building of and Project Management by the Government of Sint Maarten:
Provision of support to Government and its agencies on matters of project management and on capacity building in areas including airport governance and air traffic regulation, determined based on needs assessed during project implementation.
Component 4: Support of PJIAE Operations:
Provision of support to the operations of PJIA through the financing of operating expenditures, particularly when support is required during disaster and weather-related events.
|Project Component||Sub component||Status||Completed|
|Component 1||Reconstruction of Terminal Building||Ongoing|
|Acquisition of equipment||Ongoing|
|Component 2||Project Management and Capacity Building||Ongoing|
|$5.9M liquidity support paid to Airport for operational expenses|
|Component 4||Support of PIJAE Operations
Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) is the main international airport serving the entire island of Sint Maarten, for both Dutch and French sides. This airport also serves as an important air hub in the region for Saba and Statia as well as other smaller islands such as Anguilla and St. Barthélemy.
PJIA’s terminal building and facilities were severely damaged during Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria and have not been fully functional since then. The passenger airport terminal, a four-story building and the air traffic control tower were severely damaged by the strong wind and rainwater. The roof of the terminal building was destroyed, the entrance doors were blown out. Due to the roof damage, salty water (mix of rainwater and salt spray from the large breaking waves at sea) entered the building, resulting in significant damage to equipment and the facilities inside and subsequent mold growth. Although the main steel structure is quite solid and has not suffered, the terminal has not been fully functional still now.
Since the Hurricanes, passenger demand and airport capacity have weakened significantly and as a result, PJIAE’s revenues have lowered too. Even after temporary restoration, the airport terminal can currently handle only 70% of the passenger demand before the hurricane. This impedes rapid economic recovery of the country considering the high economic dependency of the tourism sector on passengers travelling through the airport.