SIMPSON BAY – The Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) received its Aerodrome Certificate from Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications (TEATT) Irania Arrindell on Friday, July 15.
The presentation was made following a recent audit by the St. Maarten Civil Aviation Authority (SMCAA) assisted by the Dutch Civil Aviation Authority. Deputy Managing Director of PJIA Larry Donker received the certificate on behalf of the company.
“Passing the audit inspection is a significant accomplishment made possible through teamwork and PJIA is most thankful and grateful to its staff and the SMCAA who have worked diligently together, even beyond the call of duty to achieve this certification,” said Donker.
The SMCAA-led audit concluded that PJIA had successfully met the stringent requirements on Aerodrome Certification, based on the International Civil Aviation Organizations (ICAO) Annex 14 (Convention on International Civil Aviation), and article 175 of the “Landsbesluit Toezight Luchtvaart.”
The airport has demonstrated the ability to draft, implement and comply with the required aviation safety regulatory system by way of an Aerodrome Manual, which ensures that the facilities, equipment and operational procedures are in compliance with the applicable international regulations.
The SMCAA, which falls under the Minister of TEATT, is the regulatory body responsible for ensuring safety, and efficiency of aircraft operations at PJIA. Its next audit of PJIA is due in 2018.
The importance of the Aerodrome Certificate is that it: 1. Provides the Airport Operator and aircraft Operators with documented proof that the facilities they operate or use are safe; 2. Functions as an important Risk management element; 3. Ensures the continued Safety, regularity and efficiency of aircraft Operations at Aerodromes; and 4. Ensures that the aerodrome is in compliance with the relevant ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and Civil Aviation Regulations.
Prior to October 10, 2010, PJIA was certified by the then Netherlands Antilles Civil Aviation Authority, which was based in Curaçao. However, the responsibility now lies with the SMCAA as the oversight entity.
Obtaining an aerodrome certification has many advantages, ranging from economic to operating efficiency. However, the main advantage lies in the satisfaction of offering airlines and passengers the possibility of using an increasingly safe airport thanks to the Operational Safety Management System’s maintenance.
The Operational Safety Management System’s maintenance is also in keeping with PJIA’s mission statement: “To be the regional leader in providing safe, secure, quality and profitable airport services that contribute to the general economic and tourism development of St. Maarten/St. Martin and the surrounding islands.”