Theo Heyliger calls on airport to lift lien on Winair

POSTED: 11/25/13 12:34 PM
MP Theo Heyliger. Photo today / Leo Brown

MP Theo Heyliger. Photo today / Leo Brown

St. Maarten – The Leader of the United People’s (UP) party and Member of Parliament Theo Heyliger calls on the supervisory board and management of the Princess Juliana International Airport to lift the lien that it placed on Windward Islands Airways (Winair).

“These two companies, the airport, our national port of entry, are 100 per cent owned by the government of this country.  Winair at the moment is over 90 per cent owned by the government of Sint Maarten.

“Winair serves as a vital component to the success of the airport’s hub function.  It is one of the largest operators at our national airport and directly employs more than 100 families.  The airline is an asset and plays an essential role in providing air transportation services to our sister islands of Saba and St. Eustatius.

“Winair has gone through what I consider a recovery phase since 10-10-10 which has successfully resulted in the airline wanting to expand its wings.  I would like to commend the staff, management and supervisory board of the airline for the efforts and attention given in working out the challenges which has resulted now in the airline being able to spread its wings,” MP Heyliger said in a press statement he issued yesterday.

Heyliger pointed out that Winair has been making its debt payment to the airport and feels now is the time for the ‘big sister’ to lift the lien.

“It is time that the airport lifts the lien and allows Winair to continue to seek financing in order to further expand its operations which is an added value to the country, and most importantly to the airport.  We have to dream big, but dreams do become a reality, because as a country, we do have the capable human resources in the aviation field that can make a difference.

“An expanded Winair will bring more business to the airport, which means more businesses for entities as well, and more business means more employment opportunities for the people of this country.  The board of the airport needs to move post haste on this matter.

“The Princess Juliana International Airport is the largest of all government companies and pays no concession fee or dividends to the government of this country.  This is very unfortunate, because when we travel we have to pay a fee into the coffers of the airport. The people who own the airport should receive something in return.

“The lien on Winair can be compared to a case of serious sibling bullying and its time that the bigger sister – airport – looks out for the smaller one.  Under our new status of country, thinking outside of the box is the future for our country’s long-term sustainable development.

“I would like to see our national airport giving government a dividend and let the government take care of the debt owned by Winair to the airport,” Heyliger concluded his statement.

 

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Comments (1)

 

  1. Chuck Dowling says:

    I agree 200% there is no reason to drag this on. Move forward and allow the airline to serve the country without a ball and chain !!