Heyliger concerned about store closure at airport

POSTED: 07/8/13 12:33 PM

Theo Heyliger - 20120411St. Maarten – United People Party Leader Theo Heyliger expressed his concerns about what is happening with the closure of stores at the Princess Juliana International Airport and what will happen with the employees.

According to Heyliger, some of the employees have been working at the airport for over 23-years, as well as some of the stores who have been operating at the airport for over 34-years.

“We cannot just throw these people out on the street.  This is unjust,” he stated in a press release.

A study by InterVISTAS Consulting Group presented last summer to the airport forecasts that passenger traffic, using the main terminal building, but not including FBO traffic, will range between approximately 1.8 million and two million passengers by 2020.

“This is all good, but the people that work at the airport, that work in the stores are just as important as the forecasted hundreds of thousands that will pass through our airport.  These people also play a role, and have contributed to the building of this economy which is dependent on our one pillar tourism economy,” he said.

“These people have also contributed to the success of our airport which has allowed us to build a multi-million dollar facility therefore further enhancing our hub function within this part of the Caribbean.

The store employee’s role may have been small, but they still contributed to the success and it’s not right to treat them in this manner,” he added.

He said that the employees must be able to continue to share in the success of St. Maarten and the success at the country’s only international airport.

“If there are challenges, then solutions should be found in collaboration with the stakeholders some of whom have been there for over 30-years. It’s not correct to wipe out a whole set of businesses and employees for the greenback.  We are compassionate people and we must remain that way,” he stated.

“Let’s work together in finding a solution that is in the benefit and interests of all.”


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