Nicolaas recommends installing airport safety council

POSTED: 04/19/12 12:41 PM

Keynote speaker at the Princess Juliana International Airport’s aviation safety seminar and luncheon Michael Nicolaas makes a point during his feature address.

St. Maarten – Growing the air transportation business with the focus on safety was the theme of the aviation safety seminar and luncheon was officially opened by the Minister of Economic Affairs, Telecommunications, Transportation and Tourism Franklin Meyers at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino on Wednesday morning. Meyers welcomed the keynote speaker Michael Nicolaas to the island and expressed the hope he would enlighten the various stakeholders about the “importance of safety in aviation.”
“One should understand that the Princess Juliana International Airport serves as a bridge to the world and as a result it is important to ensure that the integrity of this bridge is sound,” Meyers said.
The airport’s Operations Manager Larry Donker, who delivered brief remarks on behalf of the airport’s Managing Director Regina LaBega who was absent because of other commitments, called it an honor to host the seminar on safety and encouraged the delegates to renew their contacts on safety issues.
“Safety is and will always the number one priority at the Princess Juliana International Airport. Therefore, safety needs to be understood and correctly implemented by all stakeholders. Let us not forget that we live in a revolving industry which is compacted by an ever evolving world,” Donker said.
The airport operations manager mentioned that continued improvement in the level of safety requires the ongoing development of a comprehensive safety culture at all levels of an organization. It must be visible and consistent and include participation from the employees. Donker said that the employees are the fulfillment of the Chief Executive Officer’s directives and the management team.
Nicolaas called it refreshing to come to a destination and be received on arrival with “a pleasant feeling of being welcomed to a great country.”
“The need to develop country and safety is in our culture,” the feature speaker said.
Nicolaas noted that if the airport needs to grow, it must be done safely and called for the development of an airport safety council. The council is a group of professionals that will focus on safety.
“They have managed not only to have seminars but able to transfer knowledge to their members and fellow colleague,” Nicolaas said.
The keynote speaker also said that it is necessary to maintain a high level of safety and efficiency.
Several representatives of the aviation industry from the neighboring islands attended the seminar based on an invitation from the organizing committee led by the airport’s Quality Assurance Manager Anastacio Baker.
“Without safety none of the beautiful aircraft that visits St. Maarten will be here. Safety is the most important aspect of the airport,” he concluded.

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