Princess Juliana International Airport: Hurray For Ultra-Dangerous Tourism

Two aeroplanes flying in a sunset
Tally, bally ho.

It’s summer! So we’re taking a look at one of the world’s most insanely dangerous airports. Located on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten it’s a hodgepog of moneymaiking, tourism-driven terror.

Princess Juliana International Airport

Where’s the best place to put your runway – right next to Maho Beach? Great idea. That way sunbathers can stare into the very jet engines of death as planes steam on in over head.

Famous for its ultra-low altitude flyover landing requirements, many tourists flock to the local beach to get fancy Instagram images and whatnot.

Despite it all looking insanely dangerous, we could only find two recorded accidents due to the plunging approach.

One in 1972 and the other in 2014. However, a woman from New Zealand died in 2017 due to a jet blast.

It’s fair to say it’s turned into something of a spectator sport, with tourists arsing about on Maho Beach as planes approach.

This annoying behaviour is often criticised by locals and the people trying to run the airport.

The result is there’s a sign (which we couldn’t find a copyright-free image for) that bears the legend:

"Jet blast of departing and arriving aircraft can cause severe physical harm resulting in extreme bodily harm and/or death."

The airport sort of revels in its famous/notorious airport landing. On the official website there’s a “Spectacular Landings” section to show off the descent.

The airport came about in 1942 as a US military airstrip to assist with the World War II battle.

These days, it sees over 1.6 million tourists a year. Many of whom clearly want to get themselves incinerated by jet engines. Take the trip!


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