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Governor Holiday Welcomed “Back Home” at SXM Airport

H.E. Gov. Eugene Holiday being welcomed to SXM Airport by managing director Regina LaBega.Standing next to LaBega is Michel Hodge, Chairman of PJIA Holding Company.(SXM Airport photo)

SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten (Monday, November 3, 2014) - It was indeed a “welcome back home” visit for His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday when he paid an official working visit to the Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM, on October 30, 2014.

From the moment he alighted from his official vehicle to the steel pan sounds of the popular song, “St. Maarten is my Home” performed by the island’s foremost panist, Sir Isidore York (The Mighty Dow), until he drove off after a tour of the ATC facilities at the end of the visit, Governor Holiday was not only pleased to be back home on familiar grounds, but also wished the Holding Company, the Supervisory Board of Directors, the Management and employees success and strength with their plans to take the airport to the next level.

H.E. Gov. Eugene Holiday, poses with SXM managing director, Regina LaBega before a one-on-one with her at her office.(SXM Airport photo)

Drs. Eugene Holiday was president of the airport prior to his appointment as the first Governor of St. Maarten in 2010. Under his stewardship, the new terminal building and the new ATC tower were built.

“It was indeed a very special opportunity to officially welcome His Excellency Governor Holiday back to the Princess Juliana International Airport,” said Managing Director Regina LaBega who succeeded Holiday at the helm of affairs at SXM airport. “If, as they say, home is where the heart is, we were able to confirm that His Excellency’s heart is still very much at SXM as he gave us some very useful advice regarding our efforts to take the airport to the next level,” LaBega added. Governor Holiday and LaBega held a one-on-one meeting in the latter’s office at the beginning of the visit, which was followed by a presentation to the Governor by the SXM managing director on the airport’s Capital Improvement Strategies and other ongoing projects at the facility.

H.E. Gov. Eugene Holiday, stresses a point during a light moment with SXM managing director Regina LaBega.(SXM Airport photo)

The Chairmen of the Holding Company, the Supervisory Board of Directors, and other top management staff also attended the presentation, held at SXM’s airport boardroom.

In her presentation, LaBega indicated how SXM is a “crucial contributor to the economy of St. Maarten” and provided information on among others the airport’s bond financing, its commercial plan, and its green program.

Governor Holiday showed keen interest in the detailed presentation and shared some thoughts with the team.

A moment during the presentation to the Governor. L- R: Joe Peterson, Caretaker/Managing Director of PJIA Holding Company, Michel Hodge, Chairman of the Board of the Holding Company, H.E. Governor Eugene Holiday, Regina LaBega, managing director of SXM Airport, Gary Matser, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Directors of SXM, and Larry Donker, Director of Operations at SXM.(SXM Airport photo)

“These are familiar grounds and topics that His Excellency is very versed in,” remarked LaBega.

The Governor toured the Airport Facility and Baggage Handling System as well as the ATC, where the relevant directors and managers made presentations to him. “I think he was impressed by what he saw,” said LaBega who added that the Governor encouraged the Board and Management and employees of the airport to continue to work diligently to ensure that SXM remains ahead in the aviation field in the region.

H.E. Governor Holiday receives a present from SXM managing Director, Regina LaBega. In photo looking on are, L-R: Gary Matser, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Directors of SXM, Joe Peterson, Caretaker/Managing.(SXM Airport photo)

At the end of the visit, LaBega presented the Governor with a token gift. Governor Holiday thanked Ms. Labega for the token and information he obtained and expressed his appreciation for the wonderful reception.