Airport issues warning after YouTube hit shows woman blown off her feet by jet plane
Such is the weird world of user generated video and YouTube that the Caribbean destination of St Maarten is probably better known on the web for its airport than its beaches.
The Princess Juliana International sits at the west end the Netherlands-run half of the island, bordered at one by the Maho Beach, a strip of sand which nestles extremely close to the end of its main runway.
Over the years the beach has become a trap for those who fancy getting up close and personal to the aircraft as they arrive and depart – the latter proving particularly dramatic as the jetstream from the engines has the ability to cause quite a stir to those in the immediate vicinity behind it.
There are countless videos on YouTube of people watching aircraft land and take-off – it is quite an unusual set-up, after all.
Unfortunately a recent clip of a woman getting blown away by the jetstream of a JetBlue aircraft has forced the airport to take action.
The authorities will be clamping down after the clip went viral in the past few days, securing almost 4.5 million hits in the space of just a week.
Clearly the warning signs on the fence are no longer enough:
“We will continue to take all necessary measures and precautions to ensure the safety of all users of the airport, including persons visiting St. Maarten, and we urge everyone to adhere to all public safety warnings.
“Princess Juliana International Airport has always done everything within its power to enhance the personal safety of all visitors to the destination, and in particular, users and visitors to our airport.
“However, incidents such as this unfortunate one emphasize the need for all our visitors to heed the clear warnings – about the dangers of jet blast – posted along the airport fence.”
Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.