Published On: Fri, Mar 3rd, 2017

ARUBA is no scapegoat

FiliatreaultThe CURACAO CHRONICLE of Thu, Mar 2nd, 2017 reported a press conference held by the management of InselAir International (Curacao).

“During their first month, the new management had to deal with a lot of bad publicity. They even had to deal with the U.S. Consulate banning their employees from flying with InselAir. The Dutch government also emitted a warning for its employees not to fly with the airline. Filiatreault considers these bad publicities unjust because it is well known what the problem is in Aruba. These types of publicity cause a lot of harm within the company. There is not pride right now among the employees for being part of the company.”
I think that monsieur Filiatreault got the scapegoat for his problems at the depaneur.

Probably none of his colleagues from the management team of InselAir, made any efforts to translate the findings of the Netherlands inspectors that went through the administration of InselAir International, InselAir Aruba, and the CCAA (and were also in Aruba).

Following I made a free translation of essential and painful findings that are reported and that give us grave concern for the safety of the PJ and P4 aircraft .

- Sections of the local rules and regulations for a great part do not comply with international standards
-There is no clear cut organizational structure.
-The majority of the inspectors are semi qualified and have between 1 and 2 years of service.
-The lack of a structured, powerful authority has its consequences in the air tansport field.
- InselAir does not comply with the national air laws and regulations.
- Recently 45 of the 80 pilots have left InselAir.
- The situation of the air laws and regulations is well known with the ministry concerned but there is no indication of any actions to solve the problems.
- The cooperation between CCAA and DCA (Aruba) seems to be limited, while the common interests and the way InselAir is structured more attention should be paid to this.

The Curacao Chronicle has been publishing almost on a daily basis incidents, technical breakdowns, complaints, bad services, and court cases on InselAir.

On Mon, Nov 21st, 2016 appeared in the newspaper: “WILLEMSTAD- The fleet of the Curaçao airline InselAir is composed of 17 aircraft. Currently, they only operate 4 of them. 12 of those aircraft are either damaged or going through heavy checks that instead of taking 45 days are taking months due to the lack of money. These aircraft are simply thrown in a corner of the airport that is known as the ‘graveyard’. This graveyard serves as warehouse were parts, components, engines, and fuselage parts are removed trying to keep the four operating aircraft flying”

On Fri, Jan 27th, 2017 we read: "The Independent Member of Parliament Eduard Braam recently questioned the way that the Curaçao Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA) is dealing with aircraft maintenance of the local aviation company InselAir. “The media has been giving a lot of attention to the issues surrounding the local airline. Even yesterday two aircraft were grounded because of faulty maintenance,” said the MP.

The bad publicity that InselAir is getting is not generated by Aruba, probably with a hint to the Tax Department. Fact is that a number of InselAir employees sued the airline because their taxes that were retained, were not handed over to the Tax Department.

As to the technical and operational sides, the management of InselAir was aware that there were open findings and observations on the P4-aircraft.

So for monsieur Filiatreault to blame Aruba for bad publicity is to try to hide his own shortcomings. Probably the time is better spent finding and correcting the root causes of the bad publicity: the service that results from the non-compliance with laws and regulations in aviation, tax and labour, etc.

By Agustin Vrolijk
Aruba, March 2, 2017

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