Back up the backup

Back up the backup

Things happen for a reason, they say, and that’s seemingly the case with Sunday afternoon’s countrywide power blackout (see Tuesday paper). It showed that the generator backup system of Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) was not in proper working condition.

The outage no doubt inconvenienced staff, passengers and other airport users, but things could have been worse if this had happened a few hours earlier with many flights from North America yet to land and disembark. The same is true had it occurred a day earlier, as Saturday is the destination’s biggest visitor-turnover day of the week, particularly for timeshare resorts’ guests.

Nevertheless, a repeat must be prevented as best possible while the terminal damaged by hurricanes in September 2017 is reconstructed. With a total project cost of some US $100 million, one would assume this aspect is already getting the necessary attention, but should the engineers and those in charge require any reminding, they got it loud and clear on Sunday.

Dynaf St. Maarten reportedly provided technical assistance and the problem was solved after an hour, but exactly what went wrong has not been explained. Although one could argue that such occasional failures can never be completely ruled out no matter how well-maintained the equipment, it remains important to keep trying certainly for the island’s main gateway.

Perhaps what PJIA needs is to back up the backup.

The Daily Herald

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