Published On: Mon, Mar 16th, 2015

Do the right thing this time!

CS100-over-beachWhen you consider the stakes at hand in this worldly period of evolving economic downturns and the considerable tasks at hand each country must takes on the road to economic recovery. Making sure that government supports sound financial investments to which end will boost the local economy and render service to the public at large or private entities is tantamount to performing in the best interest of the peoples Government.

My focus of discussion reflects on the current situation and the series of events in more recent Ava_no_tag (1)times with concern on the topic of the AVA Airways. As you may have heard the aviation company AVA Airways applied for an Economic Permit back in December 2013. The permit is a required document for the company to acquire the much needed Air Operator’s Certificate. The permit and certificate will legally enable them to make scheduled/unscheduled flights of passengers and air commerce. This all sounds like it will serve public and private sector transportation need, generate revenue for the AVA Airways, offer opportunities for local employment in the aviation field, and tax collection by the government. Except for one thing! This tangible and economically stimulating situation did not happen.

After 3 months of waiting for a response with positive advice to receive an economic permit (actually one full day before the 90 day legal status for government to respond to requests and inquiries) CCAA Director Mr. Oscar Derby’s responding letter was received by the AVA Airways. Informing them that Governments Accountant Foundation SOAB would be scrutinizing the AVA business plan. After this process was completed and all business plan items were clearly confirmed. Within a matter of two weeks the SOAB gave a positive advice (on the matter) to the CCAA Director Mr. O. Derby and of course the Minister of Transportation Honorable Earl Balborda.

Since that initial period, one year has passed and the AVA Airway and the economic prosperity intentions as previously mentioned has been held up by those involved with the process of handling this matter.  Recently the good and the Honorable Minister of Transportation resigned from that position and for the sake of all concern with due respect. However, in the absence of apparent due diligence I certainly understand that who he originally hired as the Director of the CCAA is clearly and equally involved in the non issuance of the needed documents sort by AVA Airways. So this apparently makes one look the scapegoat and the other unblemished. This could not be farther from the truth as the situation unfolds.

When evidence mention that the CCAA Director Mr. Oscar Derby has allegedly made application for the post of CEO of the same AVA Airway, however the position was filled by another qualified person, and things get further entangled by reports that this occurred upon his exit from the post he held in Country Jamaica as the Director of Civil Aviation prior to taking the post as the CCAA Director. “No need for Detective Sherlock Holmes to solve this!” A conflicting interest is apparent when the SOAB can give a positive report, then the Director of CCAA gives no legal response after a year, so that the AVA company can proceed with the its pursuit of Economic Permit and subsequent follow up document namely the Air Operators Certificate. At this point the expectation is that one would be focused on doing what is going to set this agenda on point toward government transparency and efficiency. The Director should follow the path of the Minister as his involvement is causing the appearance of inefficiency and malpractice of good governance. I reckon it is time to say “Don’t leave good money on the table to blow away with the wind out of any personal disagreement or personality conflict. Move on with the business at hand.”

For the Curacao government to have anyone limit the potential productive outcome of this AVA Airways business venture which has sound ideals that will promote tourism, meet the air transportation needs of the public and private sectors, generate revenue and local jobs, and bring greater economic stability to Country Curacao is certainly an unthinkable alternative.

By Private Pilot Joseph Okon

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