I took this photo of Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) from above, as we left St. Maartin last May. I’ve heard this is one of the scariest airports in the world. The runway seems a tad too short to handle jumbo jets, yet they do fly in and out of this airport! To meet changing international and local regulations a 150-metre (490 ft) safety extension was required. Despite the reputed difficulties in approach, there have been no records of major incidents at the airport.
Also, planes come in for a landing really low over Maho Beach (Maho is the beach at the lower left of the photo, at the end of the runway). Some people find it fun (although incredibly dangerous) to line the fence at the end of the runway at Maho Beach– when planes take off they are washed with jet blast. Does that sound like fun? Not to ME!!
On the other hand, when we landed and walked into the airport terminal, we were greeted by a live steel band. What a pleasant welcome to St. Maartin! No wonder it’s called the “friendly island!”