Sint Maarten aviation on its way to Category 1; Curaçao still unsuccessful
PHILLIPSBURG, WILLEMSTAD - The awarding of an “Aerodrome Certificate” to Princess Juliana International Airport SXM by the Ministry of Transport, Economic Affairs, Tourism and Telecommunication (TEATT) announced recently in Sint Maarten is undoubtedly good news. It follows an audit by the St. Maarten Civil Aviation Authority (SMCAA), assisted by its Dutch counterpart.
This means PJIA is in compliance with guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the National Decree Aviation Supervision. In short; the airport can be considered relatively safe.
The matter used to fall under the – no longer existent – Antillean Civil Aviation Department in Willemstad, but since the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles per 10-10-10 is now a local responsibility with the next inspection scheduled for 2018.
SMCCA too appears to be moving forward, which is important for another reason: The former Antillean civil aviation, so consequently both Curaçao and St. Maarten, was downgraded from Category 1 to Category 2 by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with several negative effects.
Curaçao has been unsuccessful so far in its efforts to regain Category 1 status, but perhaps SMCCA can get St. Maarten back there on its own with more help from the Netherlands.