St. Maarten Airport elected as world’s most stunning approach

POSTED: 01/28/13 1:52 PM

airport approachSt. Maarten – The Princess Juliana International Airport has been voted the “most stunning landing” in the world by travel fans around the globe, the airport stated in a press release issued this weekend, but the survey the statement refers to is nowhere to be found on the web site of PrivateFly.com.

According to the press release, the airport approaches survey was conducted in December of last year on the PrivateFly.com web site. Results were generated by site users and from social media invitations across a range of global websites. According to the organizers, a total of 1,711 votes were received; 83 airports were nominated.

The press release refers to a link on the PrivateFly-com web site that does not work. On the site, there is only a listing for the top-ten airport approaches for 2011. In that ranking, St. Maarten is listed in the last spot. The winner in 2011 was Barra Airport in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, a tiny airport where planes have to land on a beach.

In the press release issued by Offshore Editing Services, the airport’s managing director Regina Labega is quoted as saying: “We are very excited at the news that SXM Airport has been chosen as having the world’s most stunning landing. This recognition comes at a time when we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the airport. It is a most welcome birthday gift. We are grateful to all who, obviously from experience, chose our airport as number one in the world in this category.”

Labega added that she is pleased to offer customers a first-class international airport with an impeccable safety record. “That continues to top our priority list. As a major hub in this part of paradise, our airport continues to upgrade its already excellent facilities and improve its services. Not only is the landing on our island the most stunning in the world, the legendary friendliness of our people and the spectacular natural beauty of St. Maarten, makes a visit to our island an experience that will move you.”

According to the press release it is the third time in a row that the airport made the top 10 in PrivateFly.com’s survey of the most stunning landings in the world.

A panel of experts in the travel and aviation industry chose a shortlist of the airports to be considered in the online poll. These included David Scowsill, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC); Peter Myers, editor of the business traveler pages at Reuters.com; Murdo Morrison, editor of Flight International, the world’s oldest aviation weekly and Sarah Miller, a former deputy editor of the Sunday Times Stylemagazine.

One of the voters in the online survey made the following remark about St. Maarten: “It’s a gorgeous approach over the clear blue sea, white sand beach with hills in the background. The beach goers can almost touch the landing gear as planes make their landing. It’s unbelievable, an aircraft lover’s dream. Nowhere else in the world can you get so close to the variety of aircraft, anything from a 747 to a twin otter.”

Viv Diprose of PrivateFly.com, organizer of the poll, congratulated the airport saying, “We will publish details of the poll’s results, including a rundown of the top 10 airports. We will be featuring the results on our website and issuing press releases to international and regional media and the travel trade.”

According to the press release, St. Maarten has jumped from tenth to first place in a year, surpassing Barra that is now ranked second. The other airports in this top ten are Los Angeles (USA), Paro (Bhutan), Las Vegas (USA), Phinda (South Africa) London City (UK), Aruba, Mustique (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and Nice (France).

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