Published On: Mon, Nov 18th, 2019

CEO of WINAIR, Cleaver speaks on the importance of PJIAE

Princess-Juliana-International-Airport_Michael Cleaver - PJIAE

I recently traveled via PJIAE as I often do and will endeavor to share some details of this trip, before that I would like to preface some important facts. Since the passing of Hurricane’s Irma and Maria, SXM has had many heroes in their aftermath, our folks at GEBE, TELEM and numerous entities, both public and private sectors worked tirelessly to restore conditions for our life to continue, you did a great job, a debt of gratitude is owed to you. This work continues at a great financial and personal sacrifice to you. PJIAE is THE driver of our economy and suffered massive damage during Irma/Maria, these effects continue to be felt by all users of PJIAE, both local and our tourists (who will travel via St. Maarten to our region).

Their presence and importance to St. Maarten is paramount and contribute to the rebuilding of our economy, we need them more now than ever in the history of this country. One more important fact, this is not intended in any way to be a slight or recrimination of those involved in the restoration of our once beautiful and efficient PJIAE (the former showcase of the Caribbean). We understand the congestion at PJIAE is a fact of life until she is completely restored to its former self.

One thing I observed was that the staff and all employees public and private at PJIAE are working against the odds, the facility remains damaged, band-aids are being put in place in an effort to make PJIAE more acceptable to the users. To point fingers or assess blame is not the answer and will not rebuild our badly needed PJIAE. Every day it is like putting 20LBs of potatoes in a 10LB bag.

Each entity (airlines, handlers, immigration, security, taxi’s, porters, FBO’s, EVERYONE) has changed its process’s, hired additional employees, changed locations in a concerted effort to make the airport experience better! We collectively would be remiss if we did not PUBLICLY THANK THESE HERO’s who for 2+ years continue to work diligently against challenging odds to provide service to our local and foreign visitors.

This is a fact, we see it daily at PJIAE, our thanks to all of you. For several years you are coping against insurmountable conditions, which is not an easy task, no one can ask any more of anyone. This work, current and future challenges will continue for the upcoming season and foreseeable future, your efforts are clearly noticed by WINAIR and the people who call St. Maarten home.

Michael Cleaver.