How it continued

Air connectivity

On January 15, 2019, an article (in Dutch) appeared in BES-reporter regarding Saba's ambition to call upon help in the development of a "connectivity plan".

I immediately brought this article to the attention of our local administrators with the request "to join the initiative of Saba". Although I received a reaction with the meaning "we'll take it up", I didn't hear anything else about it.

Then in March 2019 the report (dated 30 July 2018) "Connectiviteit Caribische deel van het Koninkrijk" (in Dutch) appears. This report was reason for me to write a letter to the Kingdom Relations Committee, the Infrastructure and Water Management Committee and the Public Health, Welfare and Sport Committee.

Although I do have expectations regarding the future, I have not yet heard anything about the (improved) air connections.

On February 2, 2020, this article appears on BES-reporter.

A Statian resident writes a letter to State Secretary Knops about the facilities on the island regarding the so-called airlift (connections to the outside world by air, often via monopolist Winair). This news is picked up by BES reporter who devotes a report to it.

Then, on November 20, 2020, the Aviation Policy Memorandum 2020-2050 will be published with a section on air connections in the Dutch Caribbean (see the Policy Memorandum as well as the Implementation Agenda Memorandum). After reading this Caribbean paragraph I will write my contribution to the Lower House of Parliament.

One day later (November 27, 2020), comes with the news about a new, temporary, weekly, direct connection between St. Eustatius and Bonaire. This prompted me to write a additional note. And one day later another extra additional note.

On the last day of the year 2020, the cabinet will issue a letter (in Dutch) to the House of Representatives regarding a mortgage loan to Winair. I will write my reaction on 2 January 2021. This letter is quoted in BES-reporter.

There is some commotion. Parliamentary questions were also asked in The Hague. An open letter from a Commissioner of Winair appears in various media. As a result of this I write 8 january 2021 a letter.

On February 7, 2021, I write a letter about the Titan project staged by the NL government where Titan is simply a code name for Winair. In it, very colorful, a misleading analysis is made which should show that Winair is the most obvious alternative for the connection between the Caribbean islands of the Kingdom. That is simply not true and moreover the so-called independent analysis does not mention that Winair wrongfully uses the so-called wet-lease construction. And the NL-government continues to maintain St. Maarten, the airport there and Winair.

On August 19, I wrote another letter about air connections. All this after recent reports about a new EZ Air aircraft that has performed a (practice) flight from Bonaire to St. Eustatius and a report about the reconsideration of the Dutch interest in Winair (which I think is a favorable development: without ownership responsibility being able to freely say smart things about the air connections in the Dutch Caribbean).

On August 28, BES-reporter reported that flights from Winair, to be carried out by Air Antilles, were cancelled because Air Antilles did not have their affairs in order. About these for Winair strange aircraft should - in a so-called wet-lease construction, which is at issue here! - Winair should actually have "effective control and ownership". But that is not possible with aircrafts that Winair itself does not even fly.

On November 19, I am writing a letter in response to today's Island meeting in which ferry was discussed, against the backdrop of connectivity issues in general.

In response to the announcement of intensified flights by Winair and to the initiative heard on Saba to now put some work into the air connections within the BES islands by EZ Air and SXM Airways, I am writing a letter on November 20, 2021.

Just another look at the inter island connectivity by air. It is simply lousy and in the last eight years that I have lived here, it has only gotten worse. Almost against my better judgment, I am writing a letter about this.

On May 8 I will write a letter (again) about the ever decreasing air connections and the ever increasing fares for those same connections. All this against the background of a NL-government that only wants to talk about solutions that do justice to the interests of the (other) country Sint Maarten and the monopolist Winair.

On October 16, 2022, I write a letter to the effect that intereiland traffic -- both flying and sailing -- should also be organized by The Hague (as a PSO -- public service obligation).

On October 20, 2022, I write an email to the effect of properly positioning intereiland traffic to qualify for a PCA.