GREAT BAY – MP Frans Richardson proposed yesterday to Minister Melissa Arrindell-Doncher (Tourism and Economic Affairs) to explore the possibility of a partnership between Princess Juliana International Airport and L’Espérance Airport in Grand Case. Richardson also expects that cooperation with the northern side with pre-clearance will be beneficial.
The MP made his remarks during a central committee meeting about the state of affairs at the airport. Minister Arrindell-Doncher answered questions MPs has asked in an earlier meeting, when Rafael Boasman was still the acting Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs.
The minister said that the supervisory board is in the process of selecting a new chief executive officer. “Management at the airport must come from St. Maarten,” Richardson insisted later. “I won’t support anyone from outside.”
The minister furthermore said that the construction of the Fixed Base Operation (FBO) building has not started yet. “Bids have been received but not awarded yet.”
The cost of the building is $7.5 million, the minister said.
Answering questions from MP Theo Heyliger, the minister said that there is still around $10 million left of the floating bond the airport obtained. That money is in a bank account in New York, in the name of the airport. According to the minister, the airport has spent $136 million on resurfacing the runway, renovating the departure hall, the purchase of properties for the expansion of the airport and the expansion of several buildings.
The numbers the minister mentioned yesterday seem to be off, because the bond issue was for $132 million.