Published On: Mon, Jan 21st, 2013

VVRP-minister Earl Balborda (PNP): ‘5 million needed for plan of approach aviation

WILLEMSTAD — According to Minister of Traffic, Transport and Regional Planning (VVRP), Earl Balborda, (who was recommended by PNP), there is no ‘prompt solution’ for Curaçao to meet the international standards for supervision on air traffic safety. An additional two million is needed for an upgrade from category 2 to category 1. When answering questions during the discussion of the draft budget 2013, Balborda stated 5 million is needed to implement the existing plan of approach. Balborda announced the subject by emphasizing once again that the degradation to category 2 was due to the fact that the country Curaçao couldn’t simply ‘inherit’ the rating of category 1 after 10-10-’10, and that it ‘had nothing to do with the service or safety of the airport’. “Curaçao hadn’t complied with the ICAO-standards. There are several factors that can influence the rating, for instance, the lack of a proper business plan in conformity with the ICAO-standards, for which 1.6 million is required and for which there actually is no budget; and the lack of legislation, lack of personnel, mainly inspectors. It also appears that the wages of aviation personnel are too low compared to international standards (thus making it difficult to recruit experts from abroad, (editorial office)), considering this personnel is classified as public servant”, said Balborda. Around 3 million is estimated in the draft budget 2013 for aviation.

Balborda explained there are two options to get the extra 2 million needed to finance this, while additional funds are needed for the Curaçao Civil Aviation Authority (CBA). “In part it could come from the Passengers Facility Charge (which had gone up per December 1st, (editorial office)), or partly from the road fund.”

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