Published On: Mon, Feb 17th, 2014

Aviation expert: “Balborda’s declarations about AOC not correct!”

BalbordaWILLEMSTAD - Minister of Traffic and Transport, Earl Balborda recently declared during the weekly press conference of the Council of Ministers that it will take about a year to a year and a half for a prospective airline to receive the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). His comments came after Mr. Olivier Arrindell and Mr. Giovanni Atalita, co-owners of the new aviation company AVA Curacao BV (AVA). AVA recently presented their plans to establish an airline in Curacao to the Minister of Economic Development, Stanley Palm.

An AOC is the approval granted by the Curacao Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA) to an aircraft operator to allow it to use aircraft for commercial purposes. This requires the operator to have personnel, assets and system in place to ensure the safety of its employees and the general public. The certificate will list the aircraft types and registrations to be used, for what purpose and in what area - specific airports or geographic region.

Curacao Chronicle spoke with an expert in this field who indicated that what Minister Balborda declared during the press conference was not completely true. “It is a long process, but you cannot say that it will take at least a year for a company to receive its AOC. It all depends on how fast the airline can produce its various manuals and how soon they can meet all the requirements,” our source indicated.

The requirements for obtaining an AOC vary from country to country, but are generally defined as:

  • Sufficient personnel with the required experience for the type of operations requested,
  • Airworthy aircraft, suitable for the type of operations requested,
  • Acceptable systems for the training of crew and the operation of the aircraft (Operations Manual)
  • A quality system to ensure that all applicable regulations are followed,
  • The appointment of key accountable staff, who are responsible for specific safety critical functions such as training, maintenance and operations,
  • Carriers Liability Insurance (for Airlines) - Operators are to have sufficient insurance to cover the injury or death of any passenger carried,
  • Proof that the operator has sufficient finances to fund the operation,
  • The operator has sufficient ground infrastructure, or arrangements for the supply of sufficient infrastructure, to support its operations into the ports requested,
  • The certificate is held by a legal person who resides in the country or region of application (for EASA).

“Once the aviation company meets these requirements, the CCAA will grant them their AOC. It could take between just a few months to years. It all depends on the company.” According to our source, it took Insel Air about 8 months to receive its AOC.

Balborda must have had his reasons for making this declaration or maybe he doesn’t have the knowledge on this matter. Maybe he has a hidden agenda to try to save the local company Insel Air. A new airline in Curacao could mean disaster for the aviation company,” our source stated.

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