At the invitation of the Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM, St Maarten’s members of parliament visited the airport recently when management gave them a detailed presentation about the airport’s capital improvement strategies and ongoing developments.
The SXM Managing Director, Regina LaBega, welcomed the MPs to the airport to the sounds of the Mighty Dow and the Ebony Steel Band in the presence of the members of the Supervisory Board of Directors and of the Holding Company as well as other top officials of the airport.
The presentation dealt with specific areas of the airport’s Capital Improvement strategies, including the construction of a new Fixed Based Operator (FBO) facility and the renovations of the Cargo building. It also touched on SXM’s environmental initiatives, strategic objectives, financial strategy, Passenger & Aircraft movement statistics, corporate social responsibility, and a proposed government package.
The parliamentarians expressed appreciation for the invitation and found the presentation to be thorough and comprehensive.
“We were very honored and happy to have been able to host the members of parliament and thank them for accepting our invitation,” Regina LaBega said. “This is a follow up to the recent visit by His Excellency the Governor of St. Maarten, drs. Eugene Holiday, during which we made a similar presentation to him and briefed him about the latest developments at the airport,” she added.
“We have also invited the Council of Ministers, all in the spirit of transparency and giving first-hand information to members of government, and are now awaiting a date from them for the visit to take place,” LaBega disclosed.
During the “Question & Answer” segment of the presentation, the MPs had questions and comments about details of SXM’s Breakfast in a Box Pilot Program, SXM’s adoption of the Prins Willem Alexander School, the Aviation Training Academy where St. Maarteners will be trained to work in air traffic control, security, and other areas at the airport, the sharing of the cost of the security equipment as well as the proposed Government Package.
The parliamentarians also requested a follow up meeting with SXM in order to delve deeper into pertinent topics of interest, and SXM agreed to this. In addition, they requested certain documents mentioned in the presentation, which SXM was able to provide by the following day.
The MPs were given a tour of the Terminal Building, and lunch followed at the Brasserie New York at Porto Cupecoy. Each parliamentarian also received copies of SXM’s 2012 and 2013 Annual Reports as well as promotional material.
While one parliamentarian said he was pleased to see the passenger movement growth at SXM Airport compared to worldwide figures, the President of Parliament said SXM should not hesitate to bring to Parliament’s attention any obstacles it may be facing in terms of permits needed for pertinent projects, etc. so that these can be resolved expeditiously in the benefit of St. Maarten.
Nine parliamentarians were present including the Hon. President of Parliament, Dr. Lloyd J. Richardson and the Griffier, Nancy Joubert. Other MPs in attendance were Leona M. Marlin-Romeo (Independent), George C. Pantophlet (NA), and Tamara E. Leonard (UP). Also present were MPs Silveria E. Jacobs (NA), Christopher T. Emmanuel (NA), Sarah Wescot-Williams (DP), Johan E. Leonard (UP) and Dr. Van Hugh Cornelius De Weever (Independent).