Opinion: Thrill seekers (Fence Hanging at St. Maarten Airport Runway)

POSTED: 04/15/12 4:15 PM

St. Maarten – We have always wondered whether those idiots whose idea of fun is to hang on the fence at the end of the airport runway are plain crazy or simply suicidal. And now some dumbass has injured herself – courtesy of a departing Jet Blue plane.

Good! We thought when we read this, maybe the young lady has learned something. And what is the reaction of the St. maarten airport? It wants to increase security. We wonder how that is going to happen. Is the airport going to post security guards on the spots where thrill seekers should be kept away? That seems a bit unfair to the security guards. Is the airport maybe going to put even more warning signs? They’ll get the Pride Foundation on their back for environmental pollution if they do that and anyway, those signs do not help.

What will help? Nothing, of course. As long as the challenge is there, there will always be idiots ready to go for it. And what does it matter that people get injured as a result of their own stupidity? The relevance of this question seems to escape the airport management. The only legitimate question to ask is whether there should be an access road at all between the beach and the runway. That’s not the responsibility of the airport; it belongs to the portfolio of Vice Prime Minister Theo Heyliger.

If it is necessary at all to protect thrill seekers against themselves (we’re not in favor of that at all) the government ought to close the beach and close the access road behind the runway, then find another solution for access to the Sunset Beach Bar and the Caravanserai property. That would settle the matter once and for all: a bit of tourist-friendly razor wire, a high fence and a couple of resident sharks in the water to prevent crazy tourists from swimming into the jet blast.

But we think that such measures are not necessary. Let’s be realistic here: one young woman hit her head after being hit by a jet blast.

How many people sustained injuries over the past five years from the jet blast thrill? We bet the airport does not even know the answer to that question. And when that answer is not available, announcing beefed up security after one silly incident is like hitting the panic button.

Let those thrill seekers have their fun. Maybe it is an idea to add a question about jet blast experiences on the forms for the Tourist Statistical Information System. That way we’ll be able to find out how many visitors went home with blasted eardrums.

Jet Blast Challenge:

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