Land Transfer Issue Being Resolved to Facilitate Met Office, Civil  Aviation Projects, Says Grisha

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Minister Grisha Heyliger-Marten (2nd L) with her Chef de Cabinet, Regina LaBega (L), PJIAH managing director  Perry Wilson (2nd R); and Eunicio Martina, corporate secretary (R).

 

GREAT BAY —The process of the transfer of land from the Princess Juliana  International Airport Holding company (PJIAH) to the government for the construction of the  Weather Bureau and Civil Aviation buildings has been set in motion, following discussions  between Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunications Grisha  Heyliger-Marten and PJIAH management.  

The land transfer issue has been pending for almost a decade, resulting in increasing rental expenses for government. The land in question measures some 1,200 square meters at the  location of the Air Traffic Control Tower. 

“One of the reasons the Met Office and Civil Aviation projects have not been able to get  off the ground is because of the issue of the land transfer which has not been resolved,” Heyliger-Marten disclosed. “This needs urgent resolution and I’m happy to hear that an  assessment and valuation of the proposed division of the land has already begun,” she added. 

The minister said about NAfl 8 million has been reserved in the 2024 budget for the two  projects. The NRPB is also supposed to fund some aspects of the projects. “Therefore, it isn’t for  lack of money but rather due to lack of the necessary attention that the projects have not  progressed all these years,” the minister said.  

Another matter for immediate attention is the composition of the Supervisory Board of  Directors of PJIAH. The Chairman of the Board, Cleveland Beresford, will be resigning in a  couple of months. This will leave only two board members in place, while a minimum of three  board members is the requirement stipulated in the company’s Articles of Incorporation. 

The process for appointing new board members has already started and is expected to be  completed in approximately one month. 

Moreover, while PJIAH is awaiting the finalization of the risk and financial assessment  of the corporate structure of the company, it will address the issue of the limited financial  resources for professional and operating expenses. PJIAH has also agreed to develop and  implement a Dividends Policy. 

The minister said she was satisfied with the outcome of the introductory meeting with the  management team of PJIAH and assured that she will be following up on all the issues raised.