Published On: Thu, Jul 9th, 2015

Officials still discussing flights to Curacao from Eindhoven, they see drugs risk

arkeAMSTERDAM, WILLEMSTAD - Civil servants from the Ministries of Justice, Finance and Transport are still discussing the possibilities for the Dutch airline Arkefly to start operating flights from the Eindhoven airport to Curaçao.

A few months ago these ministries were pressuring the Dutch cabinet to stop the airline from offering flights from Eindhoven airport to Curacao and Aruba.

The officials indicated back then in a confidential report that the cost of checking passengers for drugs will run into tens of millions of euros. In addition, the equipment needed to carry out ‘100% checks’ will not be ready in time for the first flights in November.

Arkefly said in February it would operate two flights a week between Eindhoven and the Caribbean islands later this year. People flying between the former Dutch colonies and the Netherlands are currently undergoing major body checks at Schiphol airport to ensure they are not smuggling cocaine. The officials, from the justice, finance and transport ministries, say the cost of introducing similar checks in Eindhoven is too high and an improper use of taxpayers’ money.

In the short term, ministers should ‘convince’ Arkefly and Eindhoven airport that the flights cannot take place because of the risk of ‘public order problems and unacceptable security risks’ for passengers.

Spokesmen for both the airline and airport told Nieuwsuur they had not had any notification from officials and that November 1 remains the scheduled start date.

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