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WASHINGTON – The World Bank has approved a multi-million project that is meant for the reconstruction of the airport of Sint Maarten. Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean island badly in 2017 and needs to be addressed thoroughly.

Two years after the hurricane, Princess Juliana International Airport has been in use for some time, but the terminal and other facilities are not yet at the pre-storm level. An invitation to tender has been issued to achieve this in the coming years, but a lot of money is needed for this.

After the airport previously collected 71 million dollars in insurance money, there is now help from the Dutch government and Europe, via the World Bank managed Sint Maarten Reconstruction, Recovery and Resilience Trust Fund. It contains more than 550 million dollars, of which 72 million has now been reserved for the airport.

Once the reconstruction has been completed, the terminal must process around 2.5 million travelers per year. The renewed airport building must be more resistant to extreme weather, so hurricane damage must be minimized in the future.

Sint Maarten is an important traffic hub in the Caribbean, with flights from Europe, South America and North America. KLM and TUI fly fly to the island, among others.

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