On July 13, several media outlets reported that a 57-year-old, unidentified woman from New Zealand was killed when she was knocked over by the thrust from one the engines of a plane landing at the notoriously dangerous Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten.
According to Yahoo, she is understood to have died in the hospital where she was being treated for head injuries. The Caribbean airport is famous as one of the world’s most dangerous spots to go plane watching.
Despite signage urging vacationers not to get to close to the planes, scores of tourists ignore the warnings regularly to feel the force of the thrust, some even clinging to the fences to see if they can hang on.
On Wednesday, July 19, Christophe Emmanuel, a minister in the St. Maarten government suggested closing the road at the end of Runway 23 over which airplanes fly at low altitude, thrilling tourists by the thousands, according to Forbes.
According to the Forbes report, Emmanuel told reporters in St. Maarten the plan would involve re-routing traffic to the residential community that uses the road and relocating businesses.
However, this would potentially crush businesses like the Sunset Bar and Grill, a small bar located on Maho Beach. Here, guests still get incredibly close views of the planes, but in a safe, relaxing environment. Patrons come here and plane watch for hours, sipping drinks and eating food.