Princess Juliana International Airport is the first to provide common use bag drop system in the caribbean

St. Maarten is not only a hotspot for cruisers and weekenders, but also a planespotter’s paradise thanks to Maho Beach’s proximity to Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIAE). With the completion of its new Departure Hall, the airport has fulfilled its promise to deliver a passenger experience unlike any other in the Caribbean, featuring high-end services tailored to meet growing passenger needs.

It is with great pride that Materna IPS announces its pivotal role in helping to transform Princess Juliana International Airport into a sophisticated, state-of-the-art facility: Materna’s Self-Bag Drop (SBD) systems enable more open space, while reducing queuing and ensuring a safe, secure, and hassle-free journey.

“Materna is proud to work in partnership on such a critical operation with PJIAE and its airline partners. It’s been remarkable to witness this transformation making SXM the most innovative airport in the Caribbean,” said Gary McDonald, President of Materna IPS Americas. “We look forward to continued innovation at this crucial tourist hub”.

While SBD is not a new concept in North American airports, implementing them in a shared setting is. This highly adaptive technology allows multiple airlines to share its use, while still providing opportunities for customized functionality in line with each airline’s unique requirements. Implementing SBD in a common use environment puts SXM on a very short and elite list of North American Airports.

The time it takes to check a bag is so short passengers have to think about what to do next with their spare time. SBDs have been known not only to enhance the passenger experience, but they have proven to improve the baggage hygiene in the baggage handling system. “Any modification that aids in optimizing the transit of passengers and bags is certainly a victory for us,” states the airport’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Brian Mingo. “Furthermore, we take pride in acknowledging that advancements facilitated by Materna IPS have streamlined passenger experiences henceforth ensuring a seamless journey for our travelers.”

The integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI) categorizes distinct pieces of baggage based on previously learned shapes. This essential information influences the decision-making process regarding the suitability for checking or conveyance of a specific item. If it is determined that an item cannot be conveyed, passengers are instructed to use a special luggage tub – something that commonly occurs with backpacks characterized by loose straps recognized by Materna’s advanced software.

SBDs is equipped with a security instruction system. If a passenger attempts to bypass our security through the SBD an alarm will sound, and the entire Baggage system will come to a halt.

Materna IPS extends its gratitude to all stakeholders and partners for their support throughout this exciting innovation implementation. Committed to this partnership with PJIAE, Materna IPS will continue providing a world-class travel experience and contributing to the economic development of St. Maarten.

About Princess Juliana International Airport

Princess Juliana International Airport is the second busiest airport in the Northeast Caribbean and serves as a vital airport hub for Saba, St Eustatius, St Barthelemy, Anguilla, Dominica, Nevis, and Tortola. The airport stands as one of the largest employers on the island, with 305 workers employed directly and a total of 1700 workers within the entire airport community. In 2024, Sint Maarten Airport expects to handle 1.5 million passengers and 54,000 aircraft movements. Reconstruction efforts at the airport commenced in September 2021, with the new terminal hall scheduled for completion in Q2 2024.

About Materna IPS USA Corp.

Materna IPS USA Corp. based in Orlando, Florida, as one of the most renowned suppliers for airports and airlines around the world, delivers solutions for automated passenger handling at airports. The company’s range of products and services is comprised of hardware and software implementations as well as service and maintenance. Materna IPS USA is part of Materna IPS GmbH – a 100% subsidiary of the Materna Group – with its headquarters in Germany. The international branches in the USA, Canada, India and the United Kingdom enable Materna IPS to support their customers individually and to react quickly and professionally to market requirements. The Materna Group currently employs more than 2,600 people around the world and generated sales of over a third of a $billion in 2020.

More information

Gary McDonald
President, Americas
Materna IPS USA
5323 Millenia Lakes Blvd., Suite 300
Orlando, Florida, USA
Phone: +1 619-724-9280

Press contacts

Jennifer Schade 
Team Lead Marketing
Materna IPS GmbH 
Vosskuhle 37, 44141 Dortmund
Phone: +49 173 7929259 

Cassie Schoutens
Marketing & Communications Specialist
Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V (PJIAE)