Kralendijk / The Hague- BES Air B.V. does (by far) not meet the requirements as of yet to start flights between the BES islands. This can be understood from a letter on the matter, which State Secretary Knops sent to the Second Chamber earlier today.
The letter from Knops is a response to complaints by the BES Air BV that the start-up of the flights was being hampered by an excess of bureaucracy on the Dutch side. According to Knops’ letter, this is not the case.
“I am aware of Mr Hesselink’s ambition to connect the BES islands by air. To be able to start flying, BES Air BV needs an operating permit, to be issued by the Ministery of Environment and Transportation and the Inspectorate of Air Transport (ILT) Mr. Hesselink has been in discussions with the ILT for some time, “said Knops.
According to Knops, the ILT takes the position that under the current regulations no operating license can be issued to BES Air BV, among other things due to the lack of an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) and because the requirements laid down in the Decree regulated are not met and occasional air transport BES, including the requirement that the company in questions should be in posession of aircraft.
Knops also writes in his letter that the subject of affordable (air) connections does have his attention. “Mr. Hesselink links his case to the desire of the government to achieve affordable and reliable connections between and to the Caribbean islands of the Kingdom. The Ministry has commissioned a study into connectivity within the Caribbean, recently presented to your Chamber. The report outlines developments, public interests and possibilities for (air) transport in the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom, “Knops said in his letter to the Dutch Parliament.
The State Secretary also writes that this year the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management will, in consultation with the countries and public entities, explore options for improving the level of connectivity between Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius and between Bonaire and Curaçao.