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TEATT Minister, PJIAE N.V. CEO, joins MOU signing between Dutch Caribbean islands and The Netherlands.

Parties share a vision of improving inter-island connectivity by making it more affordable, efficient, and sustainable.

ORANJESTAD – The Honorable Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT), Mr. Omar Ottley led a delegation with members of the Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V. (PJIAE) to the Dutch Caribbean Cooperation of Airports’ 1st International Sustainable Air Transportation event – A Flight to the Future. The Hyatt Regency Resort Spa & Casino in Aruba was the location of choice for top aviation and tourism-based leaders to assemble from November 7 through 11, 2022.

A significant breakthrough realized during the DCCA International Sustainable Air Transportation event was the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between six (6) Dutch Caribbean islands, the six (6) airports of the Dutch Caribbean, the Dutch Association of Airports (NVL) and the Netherlands. The MOU empowers the islands to explore and establish affordable, efficient, and sustainable air connectivity amongst St. Maarten, Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba. As sustainable air transportation was the core message of the event, all parties were also challenged to explore and stimulate the use of emission-free powered flights to execute the air connectivity.

The Honorable Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT), Mr. Omar Ottley was a part of fifteen (15) dignitaries of the six (6) island nations and the Netherlands that expressed their commitment to the MOU. Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of the Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V. (PJIAE), Mr. Brian Mingo will serve as a member of the Steering Committee and Action Group which was created simultaneously to work on a joint business plan, which will be delivered within seven (7) months of signing the MOU.

“Discovering the undiscovered; focusing on the future of sustainable aviation” was the theme for this first day, as the Country Manager of Corporación América and CEO of the Cargo Terminal of Ecuador, and the Galapagos Ecological Airport, Mr. Jorge Rosillo delivered the keynote address. Noteworthy is that the Galapagos Ecological Airport was the first ecological airport in the world. Meanwhile, the Director General of Airports Council International of the Latin America and Caribbean, Mr. Rafael Echevarne, and Program Manager of Sustainable Aviation at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in the Netherlands, Mrs. Marieke Smit also gave a presentation on the roadmap to e-flight.

The upcoming conference days will focus on sustainability-related topics like Built for Experience focusing on Sustainable Tourism, Pushing the limits: changing the Future focusing on Sustainable Airport Operations, Reality Check focusing on current Research and Investments, and Connecting Generations.

Free virtual registrations are still available throughout the event which will be live streamed via through November 11, 2022. For more information on the event and virtual registration, please visit the DCCA website at

About Princess Juliana International Airport

Princess Juliana International Airport is the second busiest airport in the Northeast Caribbean. It is an important airport hub for Saba, St Eustatius, St Barthelemy, Anguilla, Dominica, Nevis and Tortola. The airport is one of the largest employers on the island. It has 277 workers and an additional 1700 workers within the entire airport community. In 2022 the Sint Maarten airport expects to handle 1.2 million passengers and 54.000 aircraft movements. The reconstruction works of the airport have started in September 2021. By the end of 2022 the departure hall will be ready to use for passengers. In the summer of 2023, the new terminal will be finished. Contractor Ballast Nedam International Projects is actively seeking cooperation with local people and companies which is essential for socio-economic recovery of Sint Maarten.

Historic Timeline

Princess Juliana Airport was officially opened by Princess Juliana in 1944. In 2006 her Majesty Queen Beatrix inaugurated the new terminal building. In 2017 St.Maarten was hit by Hurricane Irma (Cat 5) and the airport’s terminal was heavily damaged. In January 2020 Princess Juliana International Airport signed the WorldBank/EIB loan to reconstruct the terminal. In July 2021 Ballast Nedam International Project was the main contractor selected for the reconstruction of the airport terminal.

Click here for the timings of the recovery project PJIAE | Overview (