~ Airline operational for charter flights ~
AIRPORT–Airline company SXM Airways received its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from Civil Aviation on December 12 and can move forward with its operation as company Directors Elvis Queeley, Michel Carter and Jeff Oliver are in the process of securing landing rights from destinations to which they plan to fly.
The Government of St. Eustatius granted the airline permission this week to land on its island. “I would like to thank Head of the Civil Aviation Department Lou Halley and its team for their cooperation during this process of establishing an airline. Minister of Aviation Melisa Arrindell-Doncher has also been instrumental in the process and we thank the Minister for her assistance and understanding throughout the process,” stated Queeley.
Minister Doncher told The Daily Herald in an invited comment on Friday, “I am very proud of the fact that I was able to sign off on the economic permit for the young local men behind SXM Airways and even more proud that the airline has now taken to the skies.
“Coming into office I wanted to support as much as possible our young professionals in the areas that fall under the Ministry of TEATT [Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication – Ed.]. We were dedicated to ensuring that SXM Airways, despite the obstacles these young men faced from others who could not fathom them getting this opportunity.
“All of our people should be afforded the opportunity to succeed, not just a few. Congratulations to them and congratulations to St. Maarten. This is a wonderful accomplishment for all.”
Civil Aviation advised the Minister to grant the permit based on the advice from the Central Bank, which found the overall plan for SXM Airways to be realistic and feasible, and said the company shows sufficient financial resources to cover its initial start-up phase and its first six months of operation, which is required by law.
The directors of the airline can now use its aircraft for commercial purposes. They received the economic permit in May and it will expire in three years. SXM Airways has a nine-seat BN-2 Islander aircraft. Queeley explained that the goal is to grow the company from one to three aircraft within three years and expand the type of service the company can offer.
“Right now, the focus is to get the landing rights from our surrounding islands. We have been training in the meantime and have a capable flight crew that is ready to serve clients. We will be launching our service at the beginning of January and the public will be informed about our routes. We intend to offer competitive rates for our customers,” said Queeley.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/71940-sxm-airways-receives-air-operator-certificate