Published On: Wed, Oct 15th, 2014

The Netherlands has nothing to do with open skies Antilles and Suriname

InselAirWILLEMSTAD - "The current aviation agreement between the Netherlands and Suriname is separate from the aviation relationship between Aruba and Suriname, and therefore has no impediments for InselAir to fly between Aruba and Suriname directly," the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans said in a letter to the Dutch Parliament. Meanwhile, InselAir Aruba still does not fly directly to the South American country.

“The confusion is caused by the article in the Dutch news site De Ware Tijd, because it gives the impression that an open sky relationship between Suriname - Curacao and Suriname - Aruba is dependent on the relations between the Netherlands and Suriname. That is not the case. The countries of the Kingdom are responsible for their own aviation policy.”

The Minister was responding to questions posed by the Dutch MP Farshad Bashir of the Socialist Party (SP).

“The aviation relations between Aruba and Suriname and / or Curaçao and Suriname is a matter between these countries on the basis of bilaterally or multilaterally agreements and arrangements between them.”

InselAir Aruba wanted to offer direct flights to Paramaribo (Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport) since August 18 of this year. The flights were blocked by the Surinamese aviation authorities. To this day is InselAir Aruba hence forced to make a ‘technical’ stop in Curaçao. Meanwhile Suriname has given Aruba landing rights.

Now that the landing rights are in, InselAir Aruba should put the destination Paramaribo on their operation specifications (opspecs) and send it to Suriname. Before that the management of the Aruban aviation must audit the Paramaribo airport.

“To be able to do that, InselAir Aruba has to teach the people in Suriname who do the passenger and aircraft handling in Suriname,” explains InselAir Aruba director Frederick Nuboer. The only company that does that in Paramaribo is Surair, a subsidiary of Surinam Airways. According Nuboer, the problem was always there.

“Every time we gave lessons, people did not show up or other people came. If you give lessons in various subjects you should eventually have a dedicated team. Participants should have achieved three or four different courses. But if at one time you have twelve people and another time ten, you will not succeed.”

Meanwhile, the passenger handling staff has completed all lessons. After today, Insel Air Aruba has sufficient staff and management and the Aruban aviation authorities can send the opspecs to Paramaribo.

“Suriname will then give Aruba the Foreign Operator Approval. Hopefully that process will be done by the end of the week,” said Nuboer.

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