Published On: Thu, Mar 12th, 2015

A picture is worth a thousand words

IMG_3347If you told me that a picture is worth a thousand words I might not say you are accurate. When at first glimpse things might be considered normal without much to talk about until additional information is presented that put new meaning to the picture. Well here is what I am trying to say. When an allegation is made to say that the CCAA Director Mr. Oscar Derby had not done his duties up too expectation (on the government/people’s money no less) examples being; 1: to expedite the return of the Curacao Civil Aviation Authority back to a Category 1 safety rating 2: work effectively and efficiently towards completing the  AVA Airways application process after nearly 15months and stymieing them from receiving an Economic Permit and an Airway Operators Certificate (after SOAB gave a positive advice and washed their hands of it by referring it back to the Directors Office).

Some of you may have heard about the alleged conflict of interest whereby one article stated that Mr. Derby once applied for a position with AVA Airways and that he admitted to having sent them his Curriculum Vitae (resume). One source stated he applied for the CEO position as he was leaving his post as the Director of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority. When he was denied the post by AVA Airways his spouse Mrs. Meredith Derby (at the time was a consultant for Insel Airway) facilitated a working relationship with the Honorable Ex Minister of Transportation Earl Balborda who appointed Mr. Derby to the position of CCAA’s new Director. So some might be saying “yeah so what”!  Here is the bottom line so to speak. What has me baffled is that these things I’m about to write didn’t draw red flags out from other concerned parties in the mix of all this stagnation.

Once the Director Derby for Curacao Civil Aviation Authority realized that CCAA had  been negatively downgraded from a passing safety rating and the only existing Curacao registered airline namely Insel Air would be the only airline allowed to schedule flights into United States airports (under close scrutiny and inspection)until CCAA returned to a Category 1 safety rating.  He should have been motivating the staff and bringing in qualified personnel  to overcome all obstacles that CCAA failed ( including strongly expressing the importance  of creating proper aviation law when the FAA model law example document is readily available for free)during the FAA inspection that prevented maintaining the targeted Category 1 safety rating (being free of any measurable deficiency while  meeting at least minimum international aviation standards) which would allow other airlines such as AVA Airway to also fly into the U.S. airports as soon as they were registered, possessed their Airway Operator Certificates and had inspected, approved aircrafts with Certificates of Air Worthiness.  Instead we find that he callously denied AVA Airways with rhetoric while displaying the unfortunate appearance that his relationship with Insel Airway might be improper due to possible preferential treatment in that his spouse has been an Insel Air consultant. This while showing favoritism by doing nothing to process requests by AVA Airways that upon completion would increase the number of flights from Curacao. They will become a competitor to Insel Air which would be good for the public and private sector as well as the tourist filling hotels. Plus, it would increase the tariff/ taxes collected by government while increasing revenues on the peoples' behalf or the increase in related  local jobs. This in addition to an increase in commerce in the aviation sector. With all these factors at stake he decided to do something strange and I am curious why he did it. When Insel Air was making its inaugural flight from Curacao to Dominican Republic someone snapped this interesting innocent photo of the then Minister of Transportation Earl Balborda (now resigned from post) with CCAA Director Derby and Insel Air’s CEO and Managing Director Mr. Albert Kluyver and a contingent of other aviation officials back in July 2014. Now why would the Director who must approve many regulatory issues for all Curacao registered airlines and also oversee related performances outcomes of specialized personnel (pilots, mechanics) plus be responsible to oversee the invigilation of testing, professional development of CCAA staff or scrutinize all CCAA registered aircrafts and airlines find time to find himself as part of a contingent at an inaugural flight going to Santo Domingo or any place else. I think under the circumstance to avoid the appearance of favoritism and fraternization he should have not been in this picture and should have been working to return the good people of Curacao’s CCAA back to Category 1. I keep asking myself why Mr. Derby would be involved in any way at an Insel Air new route launching. How does he have the time with all the work that he should have been doing? Ex Minister Earl Balborda resigned and took the blows for hiring his CCAA Director but the work that the CCAA Director Mr. Derby is paid to do apparently is unattended for the most part when it comes to the issues at hand and yet he remains on seat.

With immediate effect he should give the people of Curacao a 100% effort to turn these obvious concerns around or relinquish the post as I personally wouldn’t do this when everyone knows the people really need to energize the economy and promote tourism and increase the opportunity for a greater number of flights to reduce airfares in the region. Why is he acting this way and doing this? I guess a picture is worth a thousand words!

Written by Private Pilot Joseph Okon

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