tappan
Topic Author
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St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:57 pm

I was just at SXM.....
Beautiful....and beautiful for watching airport ops.
However, I heard at the airport that they will be extending the runway (into Simpson Bay-the departure end) Can anybody confirm this??


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and if this is true, I would think that the arrivals would not land in such a dramatic way anymore :-(
Mark Garfinkel
 
FoxBravo
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:08 am

I was just there too--it is a great place.

I didn't hear anything about a runway extension, but then again I didn't talk with anyone who would know. How reliable is your source? Was this presented as a firm plan, or just a rumor making the rounds?

My gut feeling is that it seems unlikely. The runway is long enough for SXM's primary needs: turboprops for regional flights, narrowbodies to North America, and a few widebodies to Europe, primarily France and the Netherlands. The only need for expansion that I could see would be (a) a slightly larger departure lounge in the terminal, or (b) a parallel taxiway along the eastern end of the runway, which would prevent arriving aircraft from having to backtrack, and therefore allow more operations.

But this is entirely speculation on my part.
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
 
jumbojet
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:09 am

Tappan,

I was just recently plane spotting myself at SXM, January 22nd to be exact. Simpson bay is not that big of a bay to extend the runway that dramatically to have any kind of adverse affects on landings. Besides, planes on take-off would be that much closer to those looming mountains when departing. Not only that, but there is only one main road leading out of the airport and that hugs the outer perimter of SXM.

As I understand it, SXM does have many plans for the airport, including adding a taxiway and increasing the tarmac. This information can be found at the SXM website. i will post it as soon as I find it.

steve
 
LHcapt2007
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:16 am

Right on JumboJet, I haven't heard anything either and your logic sounds reasonable. Very big expansion plans for TNCM though in the near future, but nothing was ever mentioned about extension of the runway (widened a while back). Here's the website to check everything out...
http://www.pjiae.com/
Regards,
LHcapt2007

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tappan
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:16 am

Thanks Steve,
Yes, the source was reliable.
Mark
 
jumbojet
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:17 am

http://www.pjiae.com/

Not sure how to post the website as a working link so you might have to cut and paste. go to 'About PJIAE'

This will answer most of your questions. Taken from the official website of SXM. Pay particular attention to the end.


From a small military base turned civilian airport the Princess Juliana International Airport has seen St. Maarten grow from a small island with an agriculturally based economy into one of the major tourist destinations in the Caribbean.
The site where the airport is presently located was opened in 1964. Since then the airport has seen considerable growth, with 1994 being the best year with 1.8 million passengers using the airport.

Following the devastation of Hurricane Luis in 1995 there was a substantial decline in passengers. However the island has rebounded, and so has the number of passengers using the airport annually. The airport is expected to have over 1.8 million passengers in 2005, this amount of passengers severely strains the capacity of the both the terminal building and the airfield parking apron. The present airport is therefore in need of urgent development to help St. Maarten maintain its place as a premier travel destination in the region.
Therefore in order for PJIAE to become a safer, larger, more modern, and more efficient airport for the region, a master plan was commissioned to look into the possibilities for immediate and future development of the airport. The master plan covers three phases of development in accordance with forecasted passenger volumes. With both commercial financing and assistance from the financial community the airport the airport intends to meet the goals as set in the master plan.

Phase I: 1997-2001
This is a short-term program to upgrade existing facilities and improve the level of service at various points including: the terminal building, the runway, the taxiways, the aircraft parking, car parking and other improvements. The following short-term measures provide PJIA with additional capacity and quality to handle passengers for the next three years.

Runway Renovation
To comply with International Civil Aviation Organization, it was necessary to renovate the runway. The renovation, which was completed in 1997, consisted of extra strengthening. The runway was also widened to 60 meters including adding two shoulders of 7.5 meters each. All runway lights were replaced and new permanent markings were also added.

Parking Lot Rearrangement
To ensure smoother traffic flow the parking lot was rearranged in 1997. This also enabled more efficient use of the available space. To allow smoother traffic flow new entrances and exits were added. Moreover the car rental companies that were located in the parking lot were moved closer to the arrival hall of the terminal building, separating them from the commercial car parking. In addition the tour and courtesy buses were also given their own parking space. A new parking lot for employees was built in an effort to solve short- term capacity problems. This project included the automation of the parking facilities to make it more user friendly.

Upgrade of the terminal building
The upgrade of the terminal building to improve the level of customer comfort included several projects.First, the construction of a new air-conditioned arrival hall for passengers queuing to immigration in 1998. Second, the relocation of car rental booths, from the parking lot to the terminal building. And third, the extension and refurbishing of the departure lounge to include a new VIP/Business class Lounge

New Apron
A key factor that inhibits the capacity of the airport has been the lack of sufficient aircraft parking space. To increase capacity of the present apron, the Flamingo Pond, located to the north of the runway was filled in 1999. This was followed by the construction of expanded apron space of some 3,000m2, which was completed in mid 2001.

By-pass Taxiway West
Considering the mix of aircraft at PJIAE it is essential

that the bearing capacity of existing taxiways are modified to carry the weight of larger types of aircraft. In 1997 the bearing capacity of this taxiway was increased making it possible for a Boeing 757 to maneuver on this taxiway. Later on it is intended that a Boeing 747 be able to taxi there as well
Relocation of Ogden Aviation
The Ogden aviation Building Including the Ground Service Equipment is located where Phase III of the master plan calls for a Western parallel taxiway. The relocation of the Ogden building, which is to be completed in 2002, anticipates the master plan developments and will upgrade the logistics and aesthetics on the airside.

Phase one of the master plan, except for the relocation of the Ogden Building was completed in 2001 and plans to commence phase two were started up.

Phase II 2002-2005
As of 2001, extensive plans have been worked out to execute expansion measures necessary to cope with expected traffic volumes. The second phase entails the construction of a new terminal building, a new integrated air traffic control tower and a radar station, additional extension of the aircraft-parking apron and related road and landside works.

Land Reclamation Works
To facilitate the developments of phase II land will have to be reclaimed for following:

The construction of the new terminal, approximately 54,000 m2 of terrain is required. This area will be reclaimed in the Simpson Bay Lagoon, directly northeast of the present terminal.

PJIAE MASTER PLAN: PHASE II



Apron development area
Terminal Building Non PJIAE area Car Parking
New Terminal Building
The existing terminal building with a capacity of 1.2 million passengers has already reached its saturation point and cannot accommodate any further upgrading or expansion. This poses critical challenges in terms of quality standards for services provided to customers due to its limited size. Therefore the master plan calls for a new building with a design capacity of 2.5 million to be built northwest of the existing one. Land will have to be created to realize the new terminal, its related parking facilities and the required access roads, which will continue to serve the residents of the Mullet Bay and Low Land Areas.

Included in the new terminal building will be check-in and baggage reclaim facilities on the ground floor, with the departure lounge and a main shopping area located on the first floor. Four jet bridges will offer passengers a high level of service that they have come to expect from St. Maarten.
Apron and Taxiway System
The aircraft apron will be extended to accommodate more aircraft and a planned west parallel taxiway system will be included to avoid aircraft having to taxi on the runway prior to take-off, thus allowing for smooth and more efficient flow of runway traffic.

Integrated Air Traffic Control Tower and Radar Facilities
In San Juan, Puerto Rico there is a large radar station. However the area of St. Maarten lies beyond the span of control of this radar station. Consider the fact that St. Maarten’s airspace is relatively busy with more than 90,000 aircraft movements per year radar coverage is considered critical to this area. Therefore in accordance with the regional plan of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), for the Caribbean, PJIA has developed plans to construct an integrated ATC tower and radar facility. Working on the construction of the new tower purchase and installation of a radar commenced in August 2002 and is expected to be completed in April 2004.

Phase III 2007-2012
If traffic develops as forecasted, a third phase will be executed, consisting of an extension of the terminal building and the construction of a full parallel taxiway system.

Taxiway System
The development of the Taxiway system will be based on the increase in traffic movements. Based on forecast models it is anticipated that a full parallel taxiway is required. However, before any construction takes place, a number of airport facilities, including airport maintenance, the meteorological station and the fire and rescue station will have to be relocated. These facilities will be relocated along the new parallel taxiway on terrain that will be reclaimed as part of this development stage.

To realize these projects further land reclamation in the Simpson Bay Lagoon of approximately 227.000 m2 will be required.

With these plans Princess Juliana International Airport is well underway to meet the demands of a growing tourist economy.





 
futterman
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:19 am

If they extend the runway out into the bay, that could prevent aircraft as big as the 747 or MD11 from coming in.

I've never been to SXM myself, yet, but I can relate it to LGA. IF they extend the runway out into the bay, I'd assume they would be doing it with piers (as opposed to adding more land). LGA and SXM both have 7000 foot runways, but the only reason that LGA can't accomodate 747s are the piers in which a good portion of the runways sit on--other than gate size.

I honestly don't think they would do it. What purpose would it serve, anyway?
What the FUTT?
 
LHcapt2007
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:26 am

JumboJet - what are we paying attention to in the end? I see no mention of runway extension...don't scare us like that!

"If they extend the runway out into the bay, that could prevent aircraft as big as the 747 or MD11 from coming in."
Wrong. The big birds still have the rest of the original runway even if they couldnt land on the extension(or taxi whatever). Why would they ever shut off such a huge source of income?

LHcapt2007

TNCM
 
jumbojet
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:42 am

To realize these projects further land reclamation in the Simpson Bay Lagoon of approximately 227.000 m2 will be required.

What this means, I am not sure. Since the article mentions nothing about runway extension, I am 100% positive it has everything to do with apron/facilities expansion. The runway was already renovated. Not to worry.
 
FoxBravo
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:43 am

Ok, hold on a sec.

First, my guesses were correct--the next phase of airport expansion will involve a full parallel taxiway system, and an expanded terminal.

Second, we all need to pay attention to geography. I admit that I misread Tappan's original post, which refers to the departure end of the runway (Simpson Bay Lagoon, not Simpson Bay, which is actually along the side of the runway). And if they expand the departure end, I can't imagine why on earth that would have any effect on the dramatic landings over Maho Beach.

If you look at the quotes from the airport website, it does refer to further land reclamation in Simpson Bay Lagoon. That is the other end, NOT the famous beach end, which is Maho Beach. Many people might not realize that the runway has water at both ends. However, the other end is just a shallow lagoon, not the open sea, and it should be fairly easy to reclaim land--as opposed to building a runway on piers like LGA--in a way that would allow aircraft of any weight to use it. This map might help visualize it: http://www.gobeach.com/sxmmap.htm

In conclusion, yes there are plans to extend the runway. But no, it will not affect the beautiful approaches over Maho Beach that we all love to see in photographs (and, if we're lucky, in person).  Smile

[Edited for spelling]

[Edited 2004-03-11 16:47:01]
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
 
aviationfreak
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:44 am

I believe I read something about a runway extension in an article about SXM in Airliners last year. Give me some time and perhaps I post the answer tonight (local time).

Aviationfreak
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SlamClick
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:50 am

I believe you can all relax about the approaches over Maho Beach. The arriving planes already touch down about 1000' past the first brick of the runway anyway. If they add to the east end of the runway they will still land in about the same spot.

The only real gain from the longer runway is the engine-out capability which is the factor that drives "maximum allowable takeoff gross weight" for any given departure. With more runway to the east they will have better accelerate-stop distance and better initial climb (reaching V2 and 35 feet by the end of the runway.

The east arrivals should not change.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
LHcapt2007
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:54 am

"...a number of airport facilities, including airport maintenance, the meteorological station and the fire and rescue station will have to be relocated
These facilities will be relocated along the new parallel taxiway on terrain that will be reclaimed as part of this development stage. To realize these projects further land reclamation in the Simpson Bay Lagoon of approximately 227.000 m2 will be required. "
LOL this land is for these facilities and the taxiway, NOT the runway. AND these facilities will be on the east end of the airport, where the bay is (yes its the opposite of the beach but NOT for a runway, the FACILITIES) I don't know how you can conclude that (runway extension).
Regards
LHcapt2007 (i am touchy about my favorite airport)
phew..
TNCM
 
FoxBravo
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:55 am

Thank you, SlamClick, for setting the record straight!
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
 
Cpt Underpants
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:21 am

SlamClick:

Adding length to the east end of the runway will add nothing to the takeoff weight capabilities for airliners taking off from SXM. I've operated four different types into SXM over the years, from twin jets to heavies, and all of our takeoffs were limited by the climb capability required to make the turning departure with an engine out. I'd have to run the numbers to confirm, but it's doubtful that anything short of a 5000 ft extension to the WEST would do anything for takeoff weight improvements.
 
tappan
Topic Author
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:46 am

By the way,
3 weeks ago there was some idiot on Maho beach who threw a football at a small ten seater landing. It hit the underbelly and the football went into airport property and he climbed the fence to get it. This 54 yr old idito was arrested after the pilot landed and asked a cop to drive him to the beach and he, along with beachgoers, identified this guy. He was drunk and was fined $5,000.00 US
Mark Garfinkel
 
airbazar
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:50 am

The articles makes no mention about runway expansion but if you look at the very last picture in the master plan entitled "An overview of the ultimate stage requirements including the strategic reserve", you can clearly see that the landing side of the runway is extended into the water, completely eliminating the beach.
 
LHcapt2007
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:51 am

wow i wonder how many others have tried this before (throwing something at plane) who are dumb enough to. I know 4 people got killed by an airplane as they tried to touch the wheels as it was flying over in Honduras, that takes the cake for human idioacy, no? Can picture all this happening in TNCM, what a site... no one tried to stop him? good post Tappan.
LHcapt2007
TNCM
 
LHcapt2007
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:01 am

super eyes airbazar. If the picture holds true, I would imagine it would be the equivalent to Meigs' Field destruction; shattered dreams for those who aspire to visit someday. Meigs was like Mecca to a lot of people, and as well is the Princess beach. Yes we make it safer, but thats THE beach everyone dreams of.  Sad
LHcapt2007

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Coronado990
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:22 am

If you go to http://www.pjiae.com/ and click "About PJIAE" then click "Master Plan". Scroll all the way down to the bottom, past "PHASE III 2007-2012, past "Taxiway System, and you will have your nightmare come true. It shows an extension in Maho Bay! Looks like about 1000'. The access road to our favorite bar looks like a tunnel going under the runway. This illustration shows the new taxiway system as well.

Please note...Simpson Bay is west and south of the airport. Simpson Bay Lagoon is north and east of the airport. They will only reclaim the northern parallel part of the lagoon for terminals and runways. No extension east!

The extension west into Maho Bay is of concern!

We're up.
 
caetravlr
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:30 am

I am sure that extension is a few years off yet, but it definitely makes me want to visit very soon, just in case it does become a problem. However, the GOOD news is, if that bar remains there, then that will be a GREAT place to see some good landings right before your eyes, not overhead, but they should touch down right next to you. Just a thought...

I did see the overview you were referring to, though. I will be planning my trip in the next year or so!

CAETravlr
A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
 
FoxBravo
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 4:36 am

Somehow I doubt that will ever happen--it just seems like overkill. Note that this is all highly conditional--"IF traffic develops as forecasted." That's a big "if."

As I said before, I agree that the parallel taxiway and expanded terminal are priorities, but I just can't magine that the benefits (i.e. the few additional flights that might be made possible) of extending the runway beyond Maho Beach would outweigh the tremendous construction costs.

But in any event, as others have pointed out, although at some point in the distant future there may not be a sandy beach anymore, I am sure that there will still be ample opportunities for watching and photographing the planes as they come in over the turquoise waters.
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
 
CcrlR
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RE: St Maarten Extending Runway Soon :-(

Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:19 am

Did you all check the site? Here are some pictures from it

here is one for phase II- no plans for the beach front.



For phase III, it seems that they may use the beach front as a extension for the runway but i think that will only happen when they get more passenger growth.(i.e. "Traffic develops as forecasted")


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