St. Maarten News Network reports that several personnel of the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIAE) are enraged at the loss of the two lives that they said could have been saved if the St. Maarten Civil Aviation had taken proper actions on Monday.
The workers who spoke to SMN News on the condition of anonymity said that they fear speaking out on the record because the management of the PJIAE is very spiteful and they may lose their jobs for telling the truth.
The workers said PJIAE and its staff were spared last Monday when the Skyway Short SH360 lost its brakes and almost crashed into SOL fuel farm. “When that incident occurred St. Maarten Civil Aviation had to conduct an in-depth investigation and stop the aircraft from flying in and out of St. Maarten until it is properly checked by the FAA and an organization before it is allowed to fly.
St. Maarten Civil Aviation does not have certified personnel working at PJIAE. They do not even have a crash inspector who could have conducted a proper investigation into Monday’s accident.”
The workers said it is indeed a sad time for St. Maarten and the families who lost their love ones. They said that the persons working at St. Maarten Civil Aviation are not qualified; one of them is former police officer. They said those workers were made by political influence and that none of them were properly trained, they do not have the qualifications to hold the positions they hold.
“What should have happened is those persons should have been trained by the Dutch or sent to Holland for training in order for qualified persons to be working at an International Airport. Even the fire department at PJIAE has unqualified staff. Some qualified firemen left their jobs at the fire station at PJIAE simply because politicians appointed non qualified persons to positions while others that are fully qualified and have years of experience cannot get a promotion.
One worker said that St. Maarten had one of the best fire chiefs Mr. Winston Solomon who could have set up a proper fire station at PJIAE with fully qualified staff, but instead of using one of St. Maarten’s best to do what is right and safe for the country, Solomon was sent home on pension while hundreds of lives are in danger.
Management of PJIAE could not be reached on Thursday for a comment on the incident on Monday and the eventual crash of the same aircraft that claimed the lives of two pilots.