Minister Richardson Approves Eight Aviation Ministerial Regulations

Caretaker Minister with responsibility for Aviation Hon. Ted Richardson, recently approved eight aviation ministerial regulations which will assist Sint Maarten regaining Category 1 airport status.

These documents form part of the Sint Maarten Civil Aviation Regulations which in general totals 12 of which 10 were submitted for approval.

The regulations are: Personnel and Licensing part 2&3; Aircraft Registration and Marking Part 4; Approved Maintenance Organization Part 6; Operations and Aircraft Equipment Part 7 & 8; Air Operator Certification and Administration Part 9; Commercial Air Transport by Foreign Air Operators within Sint Maarten Part 10; Aerial Work Part 11; and Rescue and Fire Fighting Services Part 12.

General Polices, Procedures, and Practices Part 1 will be submitted at a later date and Airworthiness Part 5 is already in force.

The regulations are prepared by Section Aviation in collaboration with the Department of Legal Affairs and a Consultant.  The advice for approval to the Minister is prepared by Section Aviation.

After the minister has signed the regulations, they are sent to the Ombudsman for screening which takes a period of six weeks before they enter into force.

The Ombudsman makes sure that the regulations do not contradict the Constitution of Sint Maarten.

The estimated date for official entry into force of the regulations is January 10, 2015.

In 2011 a safety assessment audit was completed on the civil aviation authority of Curacao by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to assess the safety oversight capabilities of the Curacao Civil Aviation Authority.

It was discovered during the audit that Curacao does not meet the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and therefore was given an International Aviation Safety Assessments (IASA) Category 2 rating.

Since Sint Maarten and Curacao share the same aircraft registry and aircraft prefix (PJ), the Civil Aviation Authority was also downgraded to Category 2.

The downgrade to Category 2 comes with the consequence that airlines from both Sint Maarten and Curacao cannot initiate new air services to U.S territories.