Published On: Sun, Nov 18th, 2018


Minister TEATT Airport Visit 20180718

AIRPORT – An external financier that is active in the field of airport financing around the world is offering PJIA Airport the possibility of financing to the tune of $260 million US Dollars. This would provide the airport company with the much needed financial support and alleviation for their rehabilitation plans of the airport terminal building. Presently, the refurbishing of the ground floor level of the terminal building is well on its way to be fully operational by January 1st, 2019.

With the recent official news from the World Bank and the rumors that the Dutch want to take over the PJIAE airport supervisory board and the management board in exchange for funding from the trust fund, PJIAE management took the opportunity to officially inform all employees during a recent general staff meeting at the Belair Community Center in Cay Hill that the company is fully capable of meeting its financial responsibilities, especially in regards to the payroll obligations as the company’s cash flow has recently received a positive boost to its coffers from outstanding payments due to the company. Management also addressed the rumors that CEO, Ravi Daryanani will be taking a leave of absence for a couple of months for personal reasons.

With the offer of the external financier, the airport company would be in a position to get back on its feet without any concessions to the World Bank or the Dutch government. The offer of the World Bank to provide trust fund financing of $50 million dollars – which also comes with significant conditions – is too limited for the needs of the airport rehabilitation plans. The airport management company is still in negotiations with the financier, however the bond holders have offered the company enough time to get the airport back up and running which should be sufficient time for the company to reach an agreement with the financier.

With the target date of January 1st, 2019, to have the ground floor of the terminal building operational, the airport company is expected to boost its revenues significantly during the 2018-2019 high season which basically starts around mid-December. So by December 15th we should be able to see the PJIA airport also known as “SXM” partially back to its old glory with many of the concessionaires operational in the renovated building as well.

On Monday, November 19, there will be an urgent meeting of Parliament where the Minister of TEATT, Stuart Johnson is expected to give an update on the status of the PJIA Airport. The urgent public meeting is scheduled for 10:00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament in Philipsburg. The agenda points are updates on the status of the Airport and the St. Maarten Port including an update on the establishment of the calibrations department. This meeting was requested by members of Parliament Irion, Doran and Emmanuel. It is expected that the minister would then give an elucidation on the ongoing issues at the airport.

Photo caption: File photo of the Minister of TEATT, Stuart Johnson (center) with his cabinet staff at a tour of the PJIA terminal building.