Published On: Thu, Sep 20th, 2012

Director Aviation Authority resigned – Uncertainty around approach aviation

WILLEMSTAD — There has been for some time now no communication about the approach of civil aviation in Curacao. It is not clear how the authorities are with the adjustments which should ensure the reversion of the relegation to category 2 by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It is known that the director of the Curaçao Civil Aviation Authority (CBA), Sujaine Quirindongo, recently resigned. Several airlines and the Curaçao Airport Holding (CAH) express their concern about the developments.

"We do not know why Quirindongo resigned, and apparently also the external consultant", says managing director of the CAH Maurice Adriaens, referring to former head of the FAA Jay Rodriguez who as a consultant was hired to get the civil aviation in Curacao back on track. "In addition, we have no information about how far is the planned 'upgrade' to category 1, or the state of the planning. We are very concerned about it. The airport itself has a good status, but if it turns out that their monitoring is poor, we too would eventually be downgraded, "said Adriaens. He also notes that the CAH in the past offered a financial contribution by the increase in airport tax. "That could have amounted to a million guilders which can be invested. Only, this ordinance was never adopted, which is apparently still in Parliament or the Minister. It would really matter if the minister himself would try to know what is going on as of this moment. "

The relevant Minister, Charles Cooper (MAN) of Traffic, Transport and Urban Planning, is not available for comment. The operator of the CBA has been commissioned to deny anyone from the press to contact the interim director Giselle Hollander, who temporarily takes over the duties of Quirindongo. She is sector director of the Coopers’ Ministry.

According to our sources who spoke with Curacao Chronicle, Mr. Jay Rodriguez’ contract was not extended. He was hired as a former head of the FAA regulatory agency who inspects and controlled countries in cat 2 – 3. He retired and became a consultant he is the supervised airports in Venezuela , Panama and Dominican Republic to get back into FAA category 1.

According to our source the whole civil aviation authority is inoperative and chaotic. There is a lack of leadership.  Sujaine Quirindongo, who resigned, didn’t have the experience to run the depart. There are two inspectors and they need someone in charge who is technically qualified. Their inspectors need a leader that they can go to that understand the job. That is the biggest problem that the CBA has.

We asked oour source what can we do to get our category 1 back. He told us that Giselle Hollander already has the action plan. Also the country needs a new regulations. The CBA needs inspectors guidance and policies. They need to hire competent inspectors. The current inspectors are underpaid and very unhappy.

We need to fix that or some of the best will leave. All of the inspectors have received the required training. It will be sad if they leave now. They need someone with technical qualified. That can understand their job.

The source suspects  that the Prime Minister was misinformed, eventhough Minister Cooper has a complete report. Right now they have a lawyer writing the technical regulation which they copied from Suriname, to summarize the CBA is totally lost.

As of now there are only two inspectors that can do the work. They constantly arguing with Geselle Hollander.  The other two are lost in the world, they have no interest. The CBA should have about 9 to 10 inspectors, well paid, motivated and well trained.

Something else we found out is that Insel will never get certification in Aruba because if they give Insel Air certification then Aruba will go to category 2. When a country goes into cat 2, it’s not only the fault of the country but of the airlines. They have been there for more than a year and a half and they haven’t received certification.

DAE continues to expand its wing in US because it has a joint agreement with Falcon air, if it was not so Curacao would have been at the mercy of international airlines. Prices will increase.

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