Photo Credit: ifurnish

Princess Juliana International Airport

The only international airport serving the island of St Martin is Princess Juliana, in St Maarten, so it is shared by visitors to both sides of the island. There is joint border control and customs with the Dutch and French authorities. The airport sees over 1.6 million passengers every year, with direct flights to the US destinations of Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York-JFK, Newark, and Washington Dulles with American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines. There are also currently several budget airlines operating between the US and St Maarten. For Canadian destinations, Air Canada and CanJet provide services from Montreal and Toronto, although some flights are only operational in the high season. To come from Europe, the only airline operating a direct flight is KLM from Amsterdam.

The airport is modern since it has been recently upgraded. There are many passenger services in the terminal building, such as over 40 retail stores and restaurants, including duty-free stores. The airport is located on a thin strip of land between Simpson Bay and Simpson Lagoon. Because of this location, it is particularly popular with aviation enthusiasts as planes fly right over Maho Beach, providing an extremely close encounter from below. However, plane-spotting here is not for the faint hearted as the rumbling bellows of the jet engines may knock you off balance and temporarily deafen you. The airport is located about six miles west of Philipsburg, a maximum 20 minute journey away. Taxis are readily available at the airport to take you anywhere on the island or there are several car rental agencies.

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