Statia’s FDR Airport obtains emergency-flight exemption | THE DAILY HERALD

EUSTATIUS–The Aviation Inspection on Thursday granted the government of St. Eustatius exemption from the prohibition referred to in Article 39 of the Aviation Law, to use Franklin D. Roosevelt Airport’s aerodrome to conduct helicopter flights outside of the period between 9:00pm and 7:00am. The decision came into immediate effect.


  Landings and take-offs at Statia’s airport between those hours may only be conducted to perform helicopter emergency medical service flights by order of St. Eustatius Health Care Foundation, as well as to perform necessary training flights, a statement issued Friday by the Government Information Service of St. Eustatius read.

  Last week, it emerged that Medivac helicopter was no longer parked overnight at Statia’s airport. The reason was that the permit for emergency flights, which allows flights between 9:00pm and 7:00am had expired, which meant that the Medivac helicopter could no longer carry out night flights. The helicopter was being parked at the airport in Saba during the overnight hours and returned to Statia in the morning.

  Government Commissioner Marcolino “Mike” Franco stated previously that an emergency plan was put in place so that the airport could handle emergency flights 24/7, if the need should arise.

  Since it came to light that the helicopter was parked overnight in Saba, one emergency flight from Statia took place on Wednesday at 8:11pm.

  Roy Hooker was Director of the Department of Economy and Infrastructure, which oversees the airport, when the issue concerning the permit first emerged. Hooker stated that the dispute first came to his attention when the Airport Manager made him aware that the permit was about to expire.

  Hooker said the Statia government was explained that medivac helicopter was part of an agreement with the Dutch government and because of this the helicopter operators conveyed to him their refusal to pay for the permit, Hooker explained.

  The dispute took place in 2017, during the time when the island government of United People’s Coalition (UPC) and Progressive Labour Party (PLP) and just before the UPC was ousted from government.

  The commissioner at the time stated the Medivac helicopter operator would have to pay a certain amount for the permit, Hooker stated. When it came to light last month that the permit had expired, a year had already passed.

Source: The Daily Herald