Kralendijk- The elimination of what the Executive Council calls a ‘maintenance backlog is one of the first priorities for the newly appointed director at Bonaire International Airport (BIA).
“The lack of a Supervisory Board and the under staffing Management for some time has left its mark on our airport”, said Commissioner Tjin Asjoe.
The Commissioner is afraid that if urgent measures are not taken, the airport could ultimately be confronted with restriction from supervisory bodies overlooking safety and security.
“Fortunately, we have recently appointed a Supervisory Board of Directors with a great deal of aviation experience. We have also appointed an interim director in the person of Jos Hillen who has experience in dealing with these matters. I am confident that, together with BIA employees, they are taking the right steps to put both the internal organization and the airport itself in order”, said Tjin Asjoe.
Hillen himself is not surprised by the fact that there was a maintenance backlog. “The previous director had to do without the back of a Supervisory Board. The enthusiasm of the staff is not the cause of the backlog. I actually only meet people in the organization who are happy that we can now move forward with full speed”, according to Hillen.
One of the first measures Hillen has taken is to close one of the two wide-body platforms where until recently the aircraft of the KLM and TUI were parking.
“The foundation under the top layer was not laid well, 15 years ago. As a result, the ground moves. “Wide-body planes therefore park on the old platform until this situation is resolved.
In the meantime, a long-term maintenance plan is also being worked on. “We are currently identifying which maintenance must be carried out to meet international standards. In anticipation of this, the wide-body platform will be given a major overhaul this year and we will also include the other platforms and the runway.
Hillen also sees space for improvement when it comes to communication with the stakeholders at the airport. “The departure hall is currently being expanded, but the store owners are hardly informed about what is going to change for them. We have now implemented user consultations so that ideas can be exchanged and, where possible, the wishes of the retailers are taken into account”, said Hillen.
Hillen says he also plans to include other important partners such as Bonhata and the Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) in the airport’s plans.