Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Marteen
The beach located meters away from Princess Juliana Airport’s runway attracts both sunbathers and aviation enthusiasts alike. The planes near the runway fly just meters above the tourists below, creating a spectacular sight for holidaymakers.
Separating the runway and the beach is nothing but a small highway and thin wire fence. A popular activity for thrill-seeking visitors is to hang on tightly to the fence and wait for the planes to take off or land. The powerful force of the plane’s jets produces winds of up to 100mph, almost blowing the tourists away as they have fun trying to cling on.
However exciting, this activity is not without its risks and this makes this airport notorious for its danger. In 2017, a 57-year-old woman sadly died from her injuries when she was blown into a retaining wall. And in 2012, a teenager was sent flying into a low concrete block and received a nasty gash to the head. Despite officials placing signs near the runway to warn the public of its risks, the beach remains a well-known tourist attraction around the world, and visitors are yet to be deterred from standing dangerously close to the aircraft’s jets.