Representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) namely, Louis Halley, Head of Civil Aviation, Claudius Carty, Acting Section Head of Shipping and Inspection, and Secretary General Miguel de Weever, met with the Council of Ministers (COM) recently to brief the council with respect to the current state of affairs of both departments.
The presentation provided an update on the Category 1 and 2 statuses related to the country’s aviation sector. COM was informed about the steps that need to be taken in line with International Civil Aviation Organization protocols and International Aviation Safety Assessment standards to move Sint Maarten from a Category 2 to a Category 1 status. The Sint Maarten Civil Aviation, Shipping and Maritime Authority (SMCAA) is responsible for creating an efficient structure to develop and maintain policy, laws, rules and regulations for the local aviation sector, and to perform oversight on civil aviation in Sint Maarten.
SMCAA has been working diligently to return the country’s aviation sector back to Category 1. In order to reach the aforementioned category, SMCAA has to complete eight critical elements, which includes legislation, regulations, training, licensing and surveillance obligations.
The country’s civil aviation sector currently consists of: Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM Airport), Air Traffic services provided by SXM Airport, three airlines, namely WINAIR, Windward Express and Jet Budget; three airline service providers, Arrindell Aviation, TLC and Menzies Aviation Services.
Maritime affairs were also discussed with respect to on-going issues and a clear line of communication was established in the event there are bottlenecks.