The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a US$50m loan that will enable reconstruction work on Princess Juliana International Airport in Sint Maarten, following the devastation of hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Princess Juliana International Airport is the main international hub airport serving the islands of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, Saba St Eustatius, Anguilla, St Barthélemy, Nevis and the British Virgin Islands. During hurricanes Irma and Maria, the terminal building and the Air Traffic Control tower were damaged by wind and rainwater. The EIB loan signed with the government of Sint Maarten and the airport is financing the reconstruction of the passenger terminal in order to strengthen the island’s resilience to disasters. The project is a prime example of investment in climate adaptation and resilience, which is central to the EIB’s climate efforts.
The project is co-financed with the World Bank, which is currently managing a €470m (US$510m) trust fund pledged by the Dutch government to provide support for the post-hurricane recovery and rebuilding of Sint Maarten. The EIB will also sign a collaboration agreement with the World Bank to support the airport.
Princess Juliana International Airport CEO Brian Mingo said, “The start of the reconstruction is pivotal for Sint Maarten and the region, directly influencing the livelihood of all people and businesses. Together with the Sint Maarten government, the Dutch government and the National Recovery Program Bureau, my team has worked diligently on a comprehensive and favorable loan package. Our mission now is to rebuild, recover, reinvent and move forward together.”
During the construction phase, 225 temporary jobs will be created, securing 1,200 permanent jobs in total, once the new terminal is operational. Air transportation has become increasingly important to the economy across the Caribbean, sustaining the tourist industry and the region’s export markets. The new financing will also enable the airport to restore its capacity to pre-hurricane levels while providing improved security that complies with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards.
The European Investment Bank is a key player in financing the transportation sector, including airports and air traffic management projects at Schiphol, Frankfurt and Pointe-à-Pitre International Airports. It supports airport projects when they demonstrate high economic value and contribute to improved safety and reduced congestion.