Aviation experts to Curacao

POSTED: 11/22/12 1:41 PM

WILLEMSTAD — At request of the interim-cabinet the Netherlands will offer technical support by sending two aviation experts, who are expected to arrive on Curaçao on November 28th.

The two will evaluate the current plan of approach meant to improve the supervision on air traffic safety, and based on this evaluation chart the support needed to prevent the downgrading to category 2 by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“The three million guilders needed to implement the upgrade are almost arranged”, said outgoing Minister of Traffic, Transport and Regional Planning, Dominique Adriaens on the estimated amount. She emphasized that the plan of approach, which the Council of Ministers from the Schotte-cabinet had approved on September 19th, is viewed as a ‘hot dossier’ and the implementation is considered high priority. “The two experts will stay on the island until mid December and chart all bottlenecks step-by-step. The intention is that they present a clear plan as to which expertise is required and when The Netherlands will also offer assistance with this, for example by deploying legislation jurists or inspectors to train the personnel. From the audits of both the FAA and the ICAO it appeared that the largest challenges are actualizing legislation and regular training of personnel. For that matter the training is a very expensive issue as it is often given in the United States by the ICAO or FAA. A large part of the three million guilders will therefore be used for this”, said Adriaens, who emphasized that guaranteeing the safety and supervision of such is the main issue.

Early this year it appeared that the budget for the Curaçao Civil Aviation Authority (CBA) was insufficient to guarantee an adequate implementation of the supervisory tasks. The most important findings from the FAA – besides aforementioned budget – are: no training program for the organization; shortage of inspectors; some inspectors aren’t qualified to perform their tasks due to lack of training; insufficient support from the inspectors by means of assisting personnel; lack or an inspection program; a supervisor is required for the on board doctors; the legislation is outdated and must be actualized; documentation of procedures are missing and several procedures are not documented.

Director of Curaçao Airport Holding (CAH), Maurice Adriaens, applauds the recent developments. “All pieces of the puzzle fall in place. After the approval of almost all political parties the Parliament recently approved the increase of airport taxes. Part of this money, 1.5 million guilders, will go to CBA enabling the latter to make the necessary investments. Of course, it is also important that other countries notice a distinct progress. There must be no doubt on the supervision.”


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