Meyers-Olivacce expresses concerns about St. Maarten’s airport status

POSTED: 01/4/13 1:09 PM

St. Maarten – “It has been brought to my attention that the Curacao Civil Aviation authorities do not have any money to complete the process of upgrading the airport safety rating from category 2 to category 1, a previous status that the Princess Juliana International Airport had,” Sylvia Meyers-Olivacce, the interim leader of the UP-faction stated in a press release issued yesterday.

The US Federal Aviation Administration in 2011 downgraded the safety ratings of Curacao and St. Maarten from Category 1 to Category 2.

According to the FAA a Category 2 rating means a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation authority – equivalent to the FAA for aviation safety matters – is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping or inspection procedures.

“Former Curacao Minister of Traffic and Communication Maurice Adriaens announced at the end of December that a major problem is the lack of money,” Meyers-Olivacce stated. “Curacao has been busy with the process already for a year and a half, and major advancements are expected in October 2013. Some laws need to be initiated or adapted.”

The MP wants to know from government if the parliament has to adapt certain aviation laws. “This should be known in advance so we can properly prepare for this and facilitate this as quickly as possible.”

Meyers-Olivacce also wants to know from Minister of Transportation Romeo Pantophlet what the results are of his meetings with Aruba and the Netherlands about aviation matters. “Once again, where is the transparency in governing? We have not heard anything. The Minister needs to inform the community if the Curacao government has been in contact with St. Maarten regarding the money issue. Has St. Maarten been kept abreast of how the Curacao Civil Aviation authorities are progressing on this matter? If so, inform the community and stakeholders about this progress.”

The MP said that she has been informed “that back in September the director of the Curacao Civil Aviation Authority resigned, and that several airlines expressed their concerns about this development. The people have a right to know whether the government has received a request for money from Curacao because the upgrading from Category 2 to 1 for St. Maarten lies in the hands of Curacao. If a request has been made, how much is it? What impact will this have on the 2013 budget if this has not been included?” Meyers-Olivacce concluded her statement.


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