Published On: Tue, May 11th, 2021

Judge to rule in airport hearing on Wednesday

PHILIPSBURG — The Judge in the Court of First Instance will hand down a preliminary judgement in the case regarding the dismissal of the Chief Executive Officer Brian Mingo on Wednesday upcoming.

According to reports, Mingo was fired by the Board of the Princess Juliana International Airport at the end of April while he was trying to complete the reconstruction of the airport, which was severely damaged by the hurricanes of 2017. Since the damage, the airport has been operating only partially with limited possibilities.
Several months ago, the workers staged a strike at the airport calling for Mingo’s resignation. Mingo at that time said that he was not heeding to the words of the workers, since he was given a task to ensure that the airport reconstruction project was completed.

The arguments in the court were about a number of issues, including the agreement which was made with the European Bank since the reconstruction of the airport is a huge project.

Following the hearing on Monday, Mingo, in a brief statement, said that the hearing was about “doing the right thing for the airport since the airport project is a big thing and as a result, we should work together to get things moving to ensure that the project is completed.”

He noted that a strategic plan for the airport was created and a recovery program was made in 2019 to rebuild the airport. As a result, there is a need for sticking together on what was agreed on. “We cannot deviate from that,” he said.

Mingo used as an example the funding from the World Bank and the EIB Bank, which was made at the inception of the project. As a result, there is no need to look for other funding since that is what they signed up for and got. “Once you sign for something, you have to stick to it, which is the whole idea. We must understand that agreement is agreement,” Mingo said.

In her comments, the attorney representing the airport, Peggy-Ann Brandon from the Law firm Duncan and Brandon, describes the court hearing as “an unfortunate situation.”

“We always seek to find what is best for the airport and the workers. Decisions were taken, and based on the decisions, we need to find a way forward,” she said.

The hearing will reconvene on Wednesday afternoon.