Published On: Fri, Apr 9th, 2021

A regrettable decision

By Hilbert Haar

Well, well. The politicians that have been bashing airport CEO Brian Mingo for months have gotten their way – for now. Down the road the decision by the airport-holding to terminate its contract with Mingo could prove to be very costly.

Related article: Airport holding fires CEO Brian Mingo

So now what? Mingo has been put on inactive duty immediately, leaving the airport in the hands of his Chief Operating Officer Michel Hyman and Chief Financial Officer Leendert van der Meiden. Hyman will most likely take on the role of acting CEO (like he did from May to December 2017). That will probably please the politicians who wanted to get Mingo out of the way, because Hyman is reportedly more inclined to let his ears hang to what those people want.

The question is of course: why did Mingo really have to go and how does the airport benefit from his departure?

In December, former MP Claude ‘Chacho’ Peterson already pointed out what the desire to fire Mingo is all about: “contracts and concessions.”

What else is new? Politicians have been tinkering with supervisory board and the management of government-owned companies forever. Think about what happened in the past at the harbor group of companies; think about the endless shenanigans at utilities company GEBE.

The cry of politicians like Christophe Emmanuel to put locals in prominent positions proves to be something like the lie of the century. As soon as somebody stands in the way – like Mingo surely did – the locals-first argument evaporates.

Don’t let anybody fool you: Mingo’s dismissal has nothing to do with his performance. It is purely a political move and that begs the question: who is really in control? Do we have to look at the politicians that have been clamoring for Mingo’s departure (Emmanuel, Buncamper) or do we have to search for those who control these politicians?

The term outside handlers has surfaced more than once during the airport-saga and that always triggered associations with the Cupecoy shadow government that recently seems to have been replaced with the Pinel Island shadow government.

Who are then the makers and shakers behind the scenes? It is tempting to think in this context about people like former MP Theo Heyliger, casino-owner Francesco Corallo, former MPs like Silvio Matser and even the current president of parliament Rolando Brison. Thinking about possible suspects is however quite different from being able to say with certainty that they are involved. Unfortunately, that is not how shadow-governments operate. They don’t hire Michael Granger to issue a tsunami of press releases.

One thing is for sure though. The airport will come to regret its decision to dismiss Brian Mingo, not only because of the inevitable financial consequences, but also because all eyes will now be on what is going to happen next at the airport.

Will the FBO-building suddenly pop out of the ground? Will US pre-clearance suddenly get more attention? Will the airport reconstruction project now proceed much faster? Will the employees be happy with whoever may take on the role of CEO?

If all that does not happen within, say, the next three months, what was then the point of firing Mingo?


Related articles:
Airport holding fires CEO Brian Mingo
Time to open Pandora’s Box
Former MP Claude ‘Chacho’ Peterson called already for a forensic airport-audit in 2019
Report recommends external review of airport investments
Central committee meeting about airport fizzles
Two MPs keep bashing airport director Mingo
The airport-saga: facts and fiction
Mingo keeps focus on airport reconstruction
How the airport became a political football
MPs renew attack on airport director Mingo