Kralendijk- BES Air CEO Wim Hesselink says that his start-up carrier may operate out of French Sint Maarten, now that the Dutch Government keeps frustrating his efforts to start operations out of one of the BES-islands.
Hesslink strongly denies that BES Air would not have the necessary permits.
“The fact is that we have had all permits for years. But due to the incorrect BES Aviation Act, we cannot actually operate from the BES islands. The only problem was the location on one of the BES islands. The BES Aviation Act there hindered everyone and us in particular”, said to Hesslink.
According to the entrepreneur the requirement to first buy and register aircraft and then be able to apply for a permit is what he calls “the opposite world”.
“We were therefore told by ILT on January 15, that we do not necessarily have to based on the BES,” according to Hesselink. “My letter was from December 17, 2018. So a nice quick response from Raymond Knops on April 3, 2019 and completely outdated”, he adds angrily.
According to Hesselink in the meantime he now has permission from the French government, Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile to operate out of St. Maarten. Hesselink says the request was granted within.
Hesselink says he feels that where the State of the Netherlands acts ‘completely wrong and is obstructing every initiative’, the French are clearly doing better.
Hesselink also states he feels there is serious discrimination by the Dutch Government when it comes to the permits for his carrier. “They really don’t get it”, Hesselink said in closing.