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Amendment Aviation Act BES in consultation

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) is preparing an amendment to the BES Aviation Act. This amendment provides a legal basis for establishing a public service obligation on certain aviation routes. Anyone can comment on the bill until the 26th of July.


With the proposed legislative amendment, it becomes possible for the Minister of IenW to establish a public service obligation (PSO) on specific routes within the Caribbean Netherlands and between the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands and the other parts of the Kingdom. This means that in the future, through a ministerial regulation, the minister can impose conditions on airlines flying on a specific air transport route. These conditions are, for example, a maximum ticket price, a minimum number of flights, a certain number of seats per flight and the guarantee of continuity of flights. The minister may also choose to select one airline through a tender process to operate these flights.


Good accessibility

The establishment of a public service obligation can contribute to good accessibility of the public entities in the Caribbean Netherlands. It is expected that the focus will initially be on the connections between St. Maarten and Saba/Sint Eustatius. These islands are largely dependent on air connections with St. Maarten for their accessibility. The public entities and residents have been pushing for a long time to improve accessibility. This is important for the economic and social development and also makes, for example, educational institutions and hospitals more accessible.


Consultation

The first step is now the consultation of the bill. Only when the law enters into force will it be possible to establish a PSO. Funding will then have to be found for it. This will have to be decided by the new cabinet in the future. For more information and to react to the bill, anyone can visit Overheid.nl | Consultatie Wijziging Luchtvaartwet BES voor grondslag openbaredienstverplichting (internetconsultatie.nl) until Friday the 26th of July, 2024.

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