Franklin Delano Roosevelt Airport in St. Eustatius has not been in possession of a night-time flight permit for more than a year now. Government has only recently learnt of the expiration and has put in a request with the Dutch aviation authorities for a renewal as soon as possible.
The expiration of the permit was brought to the fore after residents found out that the Medivac helicopter no longer overnights at the airport. The aircraft is stationed in Saba at night and returns every morning.
Social media was rife with concerns from residents about what would happen if an emergency requiring airlift at night occurred in Statia under the current circumstance. Government Commissioner Marcolino “Mike” Franco told The Daily Herald on Friday morning that government recently found out about the expiration of the two-year permit A renewal was immediately requested on finding out about this grave situation, he said.
As for tending to emergencies requiring night flights, an emergency plan is in place that will allow the Medivac helicopter and St. Maarten Airways to execute flights. Without the night-time permit, the airport opens for flights from 7:00am to 8:00pm daily.
The Daily Herald.