SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Member of Parliament Sarah A. Wescot-Williams (UD) has made numerous inquiries into what she deems an “unfortunate situation that played out during the latter part of 2020 between the airport holding board and the Managing Director of the Princess Juliana International Airport, Mr. Brian Mingo.”
A letter from the airport holding board that supposedly was also copied to the Parliament of Sint Maarten, the MP stated in a recent statement, has prompted her to ask questions to the Shareholder, in this case Prime Minister Jacobs and Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT), de Weever about the allegations in the letter.
Wescot-Williams said that the matter is unfortunate and it is lamentable that a corporate matter such as this has played out in the public domain. “The entire matter is all the more regrettable knowing that the airport is St. Maarten’s primary gateway and up to not too long ago has been the proverbial political ping pong, until it was finally able to secure the funding for the reconstruction”.
It’s only in the past few months, that the airport could have started with the reconstruction. Then, this letter from the airport’s holding board accusing the Managing Director of mismanagement and in which the board also cites the shareholder, in other words the Government of St. Maarten. In the letter from the holding board, several serious allegations are being made and supposedly also on behalf of the shareholder.
The MP continued, “Since all of this has come out in public and reference is made in the letter to the service agreement between the airport operating board and Mr. Mingo, the question is - to whom is Mr. Mingo accountable?
The letter also refers to a big vision of Government for the airport and I would like to know what is this Government’s vision for the airport that according to Government and holding board, the Managing Director is not executing? Is Mingo even aware of said vision?”
The holding board in its letter accuses the Managing Director of not timely executing what he should be doing as far as the reconstruction of the airport is concerned. I would like to be provided with a timeline of the airport’s reconstruction funding, the different players in the process, the process and activities undertaken and by whom, including activities undertaken or not by the Managing Director. I want this timeline going back to when the whole reconstruction funding was an issue and when this Government finally accepted that it had no other alternative than the Dutch Government and the EIB financing.
A reference is also made to key stakeholders, both local and International, being disappointed in the functioning of Mr. Mingo. I’ve requested the correspondence from these stakeholders with respect to Mr. Mingo’s functioning. In order for that type of report to be made by the holding board, the question would be who has assessed Mr. Mingo’s functioning and on the basis of what?
Therefore, I’ve also requested to see the evaluation.
Then there is this issue whether Mingo was offered a payout. I want to know if that is so. If so, how much was offered to Mr. Mingo, or was it that Mingo was asked to make an offer?
I want the Government to provide Parliament with all information that would support these claims. I hope their response is not that they need information from the airport as the conclusions arrived at by the holding board in their letter to Mingo are purportedly supported by the Government.
In conclusion, the MP emphasized again that it is unfortunate and the last thing that our airport needs at this time is this kind of a public display of disagreement between the partners of the airport, namely the Government of St. Maarten, the supervisory boards and the management.