Published On: Sat, Sep 8th, 2018

If only

Dear Editor,

Many years ago there was a board of directors that took the decision to build a new airport building and they approved the plans to build the airport building. They would have appointed expensive architects and suppliers that resulted in the airport building we have today. No doubt the architects presented magnificent and awe inspiring drawings and promised “state of the art” equipment and user experience. We would guess the board of directors was awed and impressed.

In order to build the airport deep commitments had to be made to achieve the necessary financing.

Finally a new building was constructed and in a massive hurricane called Irma the majority of the roof blew off.

What would have happened if on that board of directors there was one of these old down- to- earth Sint Maarteners who refused to be impressed and would not agree to the design and construction unless there was a ring beam and a concrete roof ? What if such an individual had stood his ground and made the simple calculation that in our hurricane threatened area it made no sense to house such expensive equipment and fine finishes unless you had the very best in hurricane resistant roofs? To the best of my knowledge not one concrete roof blew off in Irma.

Were that to have happened the consequences of Hurricane Irma on the economy of Sint Maarten would have been significantly different. How can we get decision making that is grounded in the reality of Sint Maarten? How can we avoid decision making that is excessively influenced by the presentations of sophisticated foreign entities that are able to make their offering sound “awesome” and “sophisticated” but do not fully take into account the conditions on the ground here in Sint Maarten?

Robbie Ferron