We spent the winter holidays in Guadalupe visiting family. To get there we had a choice of flying through St. Maarten or San Juan. Since I had seen TV show called the worlds 10 most extreme airports featuring St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana Airport, the decision was easy. I’ve always had a thing for aircraft and lately I’ve been photographing them landing at the various airports we visit. Getting to see the approach at St. Maarten was a special opportunity.
Juliana airport features a long level approach over the ocean to a landing strip that’s just a few feet off the sandy beach. When the heavy airliners come in you feel as if you could touch them, then you feel a blast from the jet engines as they roar onto the landing strip.
Each day owners of Sunset Bar post arrival times of the international flights. The big 747s from Corsair and Airfrance are the highlights, tourists plan their days based on seeing these planes arrive.
When aircraft takeoff the blast from their jet engines produces a wind so strong that the beach turns into a sand storm. Some people position themselves right in the middle of these blinding blasts.