AIRPORT–The Council of Ministers on Thursday approved the signing of a loan agreement of US $15 million for Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA). This bridge loan will be made available to PJIA by the Minister of Finance to ensure that the airport can continue to pay salaries and fulfil its other operational obligations in the coming months.
PJIA urgently requested this financial assistance in advance of the $100 million the Council of Ministers has secured for the reconstruction of the airport through the World Bank-administered Recovery Trust Fund and a loan from the European Investment Bank.
The Council of Ministers also took note during the meeting of an approved resolution of the PJIA supervisory board dated February 25, 2019, accepting the financial assistance from the World Bank and the European Investment Bank.
Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin applauded the supervisory board’s decision and expressed her appreciation to all stakeholders, including Dutch State Secretary for Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops, the Council of Ministers, the National Recovery Programme Bureau, the airport holding company PJIAH, the airport operating company PJIAE and the airport’s management for their cooperation on this extremely important matter.
Knops informed the Council of Ministers that the Netherlands has approved St. Maarten’s request for a bridge loan of $15 million for the airport based on Article 25(2) of the Rijkswet Financieel Toezicht. Under this provision, Prime Minister Mark Rutte as Chairman of the Kingdom Council of Ministers can approve a loan in emergency situations without a formal decision of the Kingdom Council of Ministers.
“I’m pleased that the Kingdom Council of Ministers recognises the urgency of the situation and that all parties are coming together in finding a way forward that is in the benefit of our country and airport,” Romeo-Marlin stated.
The $15 million will be made available to the airport in several tranches as a zero per cent interest loan. Meanwhile, the National Recovery Program Bureau, as the responsible entity for Trust Fund projects, will continue to coordinate the preparation of the airport terminal reconstruction project.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/85676-com-formalises-pjia-bridge-loan