Princess Juliana International Airport is the main airport on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, located on the Dutch side of the island in the country of Sint Maarten. In 2010, the airport handled 1,645,105 passengers and 60,870 aircraft movements. The airport serves as a hub for Windward Islands Airways and is the major gateway for the smaller Leeward Islands, including Anguilla, Saba, St. Barthélemy and St. Eustatius. It is named after Juliana of the Netherlands, who as crown princess landed here in 1944, the year after the airport opened. There is also an airport on the French side of the island, called Aéroport de Grand Case or L'Espérance Airport.The airport is perhaps best known for very low-altitude flyover landing approaches due to one end of its runway being extremely close to the shore and Maho Beach.HistoryThe airport was started as a military airstrip in 1942. It was converted to a civilian airport in 1943. In 1964 the airport was remodeled and relocated, with a new terminal building and control tower. The facilities were upgraded in 1985 and 2001.Because of increased passenger traffic and the expected growth of passenger traffic in the near future, Princess Juliana International Airport is being heavily modernized following a three-phased masterplan, commissioned in 1997.