Published On: Sat, Jul 24th, 2021

The airport reconstruction is more important than Chris

Dear Editor,

It’s becoming a political norm now that whatever the government does, MP Christophe Emmanuel automatically has a criticizing article ready to publish.

In his last article that he sent to the entire government, both COM and Parliament, the Governor, the Prosecutor and the Dutch government condemning the decision to choose a construction company to complete the renovation of our airport.

What does MP Emmanuel hope to achieve here?

Delay in the start date of the work at the airport to further frustrate the same local boys he so claims to be defending that needs work on the island?

To further delay the reopening of the entire airport to a state-of-the-art airport pre-Irma where our taxi drivers can be able to get work?

To further delay the economic impact that the start of this project will bring to St. Maarten?

All in the interest of playing politics?

He issues a whole article outlining all the why-nots of Ballast Nedam winning the bid to build the airport but not one word on why this much-anticipated start of the airport project is good.

I remember months back Mingo should go because he was halting the progression of the airport. We need the airport project to start and now that the start is finally here and work for our people is on its way MP Emmanuel wants to further delay.

The mere fact that 80% of its workforce consisted of locals in all the projects Ballast Nedam has done in Curacao is an indication of what is to be expected in St. Maarten during the reconstruction at the SXM Airport.

Why I embraced the start of the project without further delays is because of the following reasons:

– it brings much needed economic relief to our country;

– work for many people on the island;

– it brings hope for the finalization of a state-of-the-art airport to once again put St. Maarten back in the driver’s seat in the tourism market in the Caribbean.

We will be seeing local vendors and restaurants relocate back to the airport. We will be seeing taxi drivers back at work sooner rather than later on the airport. We will be seeing our airport workers working in a safe and healthy and worker-friendly airport.

What Ballast Nedam did nearly 20 years ago does not interest the many people looking for and getting jobs during the construction phase.

The fact is that the project and the company have been vetted by international standards much higher than MP Emmanuel’s.

Ohndhae Marlin


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