PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Member of Parliament Frans Richardson on Tuesday said he wants a clear answer on whether new CEO of the Princess Juliana International Airport Brian Mingo has signed over management of PJIA to Schiphol Airport of the Netherlands.
The United St. Maarten (US) party leader said it would be “truly unbelievable and a sad day on St. Maarten” if this turns out to be true. He said St. Maarten have always had a proud history of grooming homegrown leadership to manage its companies, case in point being Mingo himself as the new CEO of the airport.
“How could we, if this is true, simply sign away the most strategic asset of our country? How does this even sit right with anybody in this country and in particular this government and the MP’s that support this government,” MP Richardson said. He also questioned if Mingo signed over management without the knowledge and/or support of Chief Operations Officer Michel Hyman and Chief Financial Officer Ravi Daryanani.
The MP added that more than 40 questions about the airport was submitted to the Minister and to date no answers have been provided to MPs. He said it remains unclear if the 5 million was actually received by the airport from government and if the 15 million bridge loan is tied to the 100 million financing package, which is still not enough for the reconstruction of PJIA.
MP Richardson said he also understands that the management deal is for an unspecified length of time. “Once again the people of St. Maarten and their elected representatives have to be asking questions publicly rather than getting answers before huge decisions with major implications for our country are taken,” Richardson said.
“Why would a new, local CEO do this? Was it because he felt he wasn’t up to the task and lacked the qualifications having no background in aviation? Was he persuaded by this government who simply bows down and accepts any and all conditions thrown at it by the Dutch? Why would you sign away your people’s property to an overseas entity? The answers must come and they must come right away,” Richardson said.