Three ways to get to St Martin:
1. Fly to St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport; take a taxi to the base; distance is approximately 40 Min. and cost is 10$/10€
2. Fly to St. Martin’s Regional Esperance Airport (in Grand Case, French side); take a taxi to the base; distance is approximate 15 minutes.
3. Take a ferry from Anguilla to Marigot Port, capitol of the French side of St. Martin. Every
30 min. From St.Barths to Marigot daily 7:30am, 11:30am and 5:00pm (Except Wednesday and Sunday arriving in Oyster Pond same hours).
Seaborne Airlines via Puerto Rico
On Arrival: A valid passport for each passenger and a crew list is compulsory for clearance. Expiration date
must be no earlier than 3 months after your planned return. A customs declaration form must be completed at the port of entry.
Departure Tax: The airport departure tax is $35 pp – payable in USD at Princess Juliana Airport. (Esperance
Airport: No departure tax). Typically, the departure tax is included in the price of your flight, except for Liat & Winair airlines.
At the Marina: Skippers will submit required documentation on behalf his/her crew.
Traveling with inflatable PFD:
The U.S. Sailing Association gives advice on the safest legal way to carry an inflatable PFD with you on a commercial airline:
1. Check the air carrier’s website, including all connecting air carriers of your round trip to see if the airline(s) allows you to bring the CO2 Cylinder on their airplanes. For those that
allow it, become familiar if they allow it in carry-on,
or checked bags only. About one-half of airlines risk management departments have decided that your CO2 Cylinder is too
dangerous to carry on their planes. If you cannot carry them, leave the CO2 Cylinders behind, call ahead to a chandlery at your destination
and have them set aside a CO2 Cylinder, or two, for your arrival. Bring your Inflatable PFD leaving the CO2 Cylinders at home.
2. When checking in with your airline, regardless whether checking your bags or carrying them on, you are required to announce
that you have a hazardous material, describe the
CO2 Cylinders and the Inflatable PFD and explain you are following the airlines requirements as stated on their website (it helps to print the pages from their websites and have
them in hand). Be sure
to unscrew the cylinder (required), put it together with your spare cylinder.
Any compressed gas cylinder is considered a “hazardous material” according to the FAA. Your CO2 Cylinder can explode in a fire injuring passengers, crew, or rescuers.
It can inflate
the PFD while baggage handlers are moving bags, shifting bags in the cargo hold injuring the baggage handler. And there could be subversive uses of passenger CO2 Cylinders that
are carried onto an airplane (versus those on PFD’s
under the seats on airplanes that were inspected by the FAA upon installation).
The difficulty is that there are at least three different standards, which are not equal. The Transportation Safety Administration, The Federal Aviation Administration,
and each Air
1. TSA STANDARD (https://www.tsa.gov/sites/default/files/assets/prohibiteditems_brochure.pdf):Self-Inflating Life Jacket- Up to 2 in life vests and 2 spares. The spares must accompany
the life vests and be presented as one unit. Both Carry-On and Checked.
2. FAA STANDARD (http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/hazmat/media/hazardous_materials_carried_by_passengers_and_crew.pdf):
A life jacket containing two non inflammable gas cartridges plus two spare cartridges in carry-on or checked baggage.
3. CHECK YOUR AIR CARRIER AND CONNECTING AIR CARRIER’S WEBSITE: They may ban CO2 Cylinders; They may allow
them in checked baggage only; or, They may allow them as
carry-on and checked baggage.
Those who intentionally violate the hazardous material regulations in the U.S. are subject to a criminal penalty of up to $500,000 and/or five years
Our own Safety at Sea Committee Member and Safety At Sea Seminar Moderator, Bruce Brown, shares his tips for travel:
(1) photocopy the TSA Guideline document (TSA STANDARD (https://www.tsa.gov/sites/default/files/assets/prohibiteditems_brochure.pdf))
(2) I laminate it and keep it in the baggage I am carrying containing the PFD and spare cylinder.
(3) I include my cell phone number on the document to allow TSA, FAA or Air Carrier to call me if there is a question.
(4) I tell the airline
(at the counter to check baggage) that I am carrying an inflatable PFD and spare cylinder. I show them a copy of their website page that allows the CO2 Cylinders.
(5) I have checked my bag with the PFD inside and have carried it on.