St. Maarten Airport structure being reviewed

POSTED: 06/30/11 12:24 PM

St. Maarten – The government is reviewing the corporate structure of the Princess Juliana International Airport and is contemplating placing it in a setup similar to the Harbor Group of Companies. Other structures are also being considered with a focus on finding one that “will optimize the airport’s functioning.”

At the moment the airport is monitored by a four member Supervisory Board of Directors of the Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company led by Chairman Clarence Derby. The other members are Whitfield Vlaun, Melinda Hoeve and Marlon Matser. The actual shares of the airport are vested in the Princess Juliana International Airport Holding Company. Vincent “Dexter” Doncher is the Chairman of that company’s Supervisory Board. The other members are Richard Gibson Jr. and Marlon Matser. Both boards must have a minimum of three board members and a maximum of seven members.

The review is revealed in a joint answer from Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto and Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams to questions about an advice of the Corporate Governance Council that includes, among other things, that the supervisory boards do not have the correct number of members and that the articles of incorporation of the airport company needs changing.

The government’s reply also contains a statement of support for Regina Labega’s appointment as Managing Director of the Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company. The appointment is being made by the Princess Juliana International Airport Holding Company, even though the Corporate Governance Council has advised against the appointment. The government also states that it has notified the council of its decision in writing and included their motivation.

The government has also informed Parliament that Article 9 subsection 5 of the Corporate Governance Code gives government the option to deviate from the advice of the council in terms of having the government owned companies and the government controlled foundations to adapt their articles of incorporation to “enable as many provisions of the corporate governance code.” Government must provide notice of this in writing and with a motivation.

In the reply government also informed Parliament that parties met as recently as June 15 to work on having the council deposit its 400, 000 guilder advance. Government will then seek reimbursement when it reaches agreement with the companies and foundations on a division key and the companies hand over the money. The actual burden for paying for the council’s operations lies with the companies and foundations and so an expense for the council does not appear in the government’s budget. This is something the Council believes should change. (See related story)


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