St. Maarten Airport and government look to beef up security near runway

POSTED: 04/13/12 4:23 PM

St. Maarten – Airport authorities and government officials have discussed increasing security at the part of the airport fence that faces the Maho Beach. The beefed security is meant to allow stricter implementation and reinforcement of the warnings to the general public posted along the fence about the jet blast from departing aircraft. The current measures to protect people include double fencing, warning signs; and brightly-painted guardrails—all of which have been implemented in consultation with the government to deter dangerous activity.

The new measures are being considered in the wake of two people being injured last Wednesday. The duo had been hanging on the fence as Jet Blue departed and a video posted on YouTube shows one of them – a young woman – hitting her head after being jet blasted. The airport has been informed that the woman’s injuries “are not debilitating.”

“We will continue to take all necessary measures and precautions to ensure the safety of all users of the airport, including persons visiting St. Maarten, and we urge everyone to adhere to all public safety warnings. Princess Juliana International Airport has always done everything within its power to enhance the personal safety of all visitors to the destination, and in particular, users and visitors to our airport. However, incidents such as this unfortunate one emphasize the need for everyone, including all our visitors to heed the clear warnings – about the dangers of jet blast – posted along the airport fence,” a release states.

“We acknowledge the obvious attraction by visitors of planes landing so close to the beach, which has added to making the destination quite popular; nevertheless, no amount of excitement or thrill can justify putting one’s life in danger,” the statement continues.

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