New airport now fully operational
Grand opening will be on August 27th, 2021.
The F.D. Roosevelt International Airport is now fully functional. The official operational opening took place this morning, Friday, July 2nd, 2021. Government Commissioner Alida Francis and Island Council members Rechelline Leerdam, Reuben Merkman and Adelka Spanner welcomed the crew and passengers of the first WINAIR flight and first SXM Airways with a special plaque to commemorate their arrival this morning. The construction of the airport was financed by the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Water management.
In the days leading up to the July 2nd official operational opening, the activity in the new terminal was the "soft opening". According to the Airport Manager, Darren Wilson the soft opening provided the opportunity for the staff and stakeholders to become familiarized and acclimatized to the new work environment.
“ This is also where we observed situations and worked out some issues that would not have been visible during the handover because the building was not in full operation. The goal was to see how the building functions with passengers and how staff functions procedurally in the new environment. We are satisfied with the movement of passengers through the terminal and have decided to go ahead with the official operational opening this morning”, says Wilson.
He also mentioned that airport security is currently going through 2 weeks of aviation security training that will enable them to carry out their duties more effectively and efficiently in this new environment. There are also information sessions planned for current and potential airport staff as part of an aviation safety awareness program that is currently being developed. In addition, we will organize tours for the public prior to the grand opening on August 27th, 2021”, Wilson mentioned.
On May 28th 2021 the Public Entity St. Eustatius received the (symbolic) keys of the new terminal building and the FISO tower from the contractor Van Boekel which means that as of that date the building became the property of the Public Entity. Transitions to prepare the building for operational activity started immediately after the handover of the keys while the previous airport terminal remained operation until mid-June 2021.
The new airport terminal measures 1100 square meter roof and 700 square meter inner space. There are a total of 4 check-in desks, 3 airline offices, luggage screening and a full pax- and staff airside screening. The waiting area at the gate offers 44 seats and there is a landside bar, an arrival baggage reclaims roller bed, customs check area, storage rooms, a meeting room and a security & control room.
The tower consists of 3 stories and is 136 square meter. The cabin has a 360-degree view and functions as an operational room for flight and airside safety and for communication purposes.