This airport serves Dutch speaking parts of this island and on the French side, there is another called L'Esperance Airport. It is known for its very low height flyover landings as the end of the runway is very close to the Maho Beach. Many tourists make their way there just to see the airplanes land and take off. If standing behind the aircraft while it is revving its engines to take off, one has to really hold on to the fence as the force of the wind is tremendous.
One activity that needs to be done is the Snorkeling shore excursion. The duration is about two and a half hours where one can head a two person inflatable water boat to view the amazing scenery of the beaches or snorkel at Happy Bay or Baie Rouge to see the exotic marine life. The main boat will be close at hand to offer something cool to drink and where the snorkeling equipment will be kept until desired.
All boats entering do so by going through two moving bridges, one from the French side and the other from the Dutch. Once these bridges are moving all traffic will come to a stand still for about ten minutes. From Mondays to Saturdays they are raised three times a day at set intervals and on Sundays only twice a day.
The second part is the erection of a new control tower and radar facilities. The terminals will be modernized and the runway will have an end safety area added. This was completed in 2006. Phase three will happen if the traffic increases and the terminal buildings will be made larger and a full taxiway system will be put into play. They do have certain stops where one will need to wait and lift a hand to flag shuttles down while there.
If one is more into the sitting on the beach and soaking up the sun while people watching there are some fantastic beaches to visit. The Orient Beach has lots of different restaurants and vendors and if one wishes hiring umbrellas and chairs for the day is common. As it is one of the main beaches it can become a bit crowded at times.
Great Bay is one of the widest and longest beaches. There are many different places where one can get something to eat as well many different shops that sell jewellery, electronics and of course clothing. There are also a variety of different water sports to try which include jet skiing, para-sailing as well as diving and different boat tours.
The Dutch side of the island is well known for the beaches, nightlife and jewellery. The drinks are made from rum based guava-berries and their casinos are always thriving. On the French side it is known for the nude beaches, the shopping which includes the outside markets as well as the different styles of clothing.
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