Published On: Sun, Feb 26th, 2023

KLM aircraft lands safely after malfunction of nose wheel steering system

Photo CaptionKLM Airbus Flight 729, with aircraft type (A-330-203) grounded at the Princess Juliana International Airport. Photo provided by SXM Airport Communications Department.

SIMPSON BAY — On Sunday, February 26, 2023, confirmed reports from the PJIAE Airport Operations Tower declared that KLM Airbus Flight 729, with aircraft type (A-330-203), encountered a nose wheel steering system malfunction upon landing. The aircraft landed at SXM Airport at approximately 3:26 PM.

KLM Flight 729 was later grounded at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA). The passenger manifest declared a total of 225 passengers and 11 crew members on board from the Royal Schiphol Airport with a destination to St. Maarten. All were reportedly safe upon landing.

The Airport’s Operations reported on the scene at 3:29 PM, meanwhile, the runway remained closed to further assess the situation, and the aircraft was towed off the runway to the main apron. Following a full assessment, the runway was reopened at 4:10 PM.
A total of 259 passengers were scheduled for departure to Amsterdam and are currently delayed at the airport. Management is on location with the necessary teams to monitor the ongoing situation.


Readers can watch the KLM 729 flight from the time it was on its finals to landing at Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) at 3:26pm via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV2n-kKLDnk&t=9101s

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About Princess Juliana International Airport 

Princess Juliana International Airport is one of the busiest airport in the Northeast Caribbean. It is the most important airport hub for Saba, St Eustatius, St Barths, Anguilla, Dominica, Nevis, and Tortola. The airport is one of the largest employers on the island. It has 277 workers and 1700 workers within the entire airport community. The reconstruction works of the airport have started in September 2021. The new Departure Hall will be officially opened in 2023.

The terminal building will be opened in 2024. Contractor Ballast Nedam International Projects (BNIP) is working with local people and companies which is essential for socio-economic recovery of Sint Maarten. 

Historic Timeline 

Princess Juliana Airport was officially opened by Princess Juliana in 1944. In 2006, her Majesty Queen Beatrix inaugurated the new terminal building. In 2017, the airport was hit by Hurricane Irma (Cat 5) In January 2020, Princess Juliana International Airport signed the World Bank/EIB loan to reconstruct the terminal. In July 2021, Ballast Nedam International Project signed the contract to start the reconstruction.