With the demolition works of the Fire Department building at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) now completed, a new phase has been reached, which will facilitate the start of the construction of a new, state of the art Fixed Base Operations (FBO) facility at the same location.
The new FBO facility is urgently needed since, as noted by Michel Hyman, SXM’s Operations Manager, “every year there is an increase in requests to park private jets at SXM … unfortunately due to limited space, we can only accommodate so much and no more.” He said the limited space has forced SXM “to be more creative, of course, without compromising safety and security, which are the main pillars of our operations.”
SXM is a leader in General Aviation in the Caribbean and to continue to grow its market share, it has decided to expand its current FBO facilities with the construction of an ultra-modern building and more parking space.
This constitutes an integral part of the Capital Improvement Program of SXM, which includes among other projects, the rehabilitation of the runway, and the relocation and construction of various facilities to improve the efficiency of the Airport and to provide for future growth.
A St. Maarten company won the bid to carry out the demolition of the Government Fire station. The company began work on March 28, 2014 and concluded its task by April 8. The next step is the soil investigation, which will be carried out for the new FBO building. This project falls within the scope of the Capital Improvement Program of SXM being financed by part of the loan obtained on the international financial market toward the end of 2012.
Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams had signed an agreement on behalf of government with the Princess Juliana International Airport operating company (PJIAE) for the relocation of the Fire Department.
The signing ceremony was held in February at the Public Fire Department in Cay Hill.
At the time, the Prime Minister, who described the agreement as “beneficial to all parties” had recalled how it was one year ago that SXM had submitted the letter requesting the transfer of the Public Fire Department at the airside of the airport. The decree authorizing the PM to sign this relocation and use agreement with SXM became effective only on February 4, 2014.
Mrs. Wescot-Williams said Government had long intended to have a substation for the public fire department “over the hill” which she said is “extremely important for the services of the Fire Department.”
The agreement allowed SXM to demolish the existing airside public fire department building in order to start work on the construction of its new FBO facility.
SXM will build a new facility, which will house on the airside the SXM Fire Station and on the landside a substation for the Public Fire Station. Government will have the right of use of this substation free of charge.
The substation will also be equipped to house St. Maarten’s ambulance as per the request of the Hon. Minister of Health, Cornelius de Weever. Minister de Weever had requested an ambulance outpost in the Simpson Bay area in order to provide timely responses for medical emergencies to all the people, and visitors, in the Cole Bay, Simpson Bay, Airport, Maho, Mullet Bay and Cupe Coy areas.