~ Ball is in WINAIR court, following procedures to obtain a commercial license.~
PHILIPSBURG:--- Acting Minister of TEATT Omar Ottley confirmed on Wednesday that the government of St. Maarten was not officially informed of the decision taken by Civil Aviation St. Maarten to ban all carries from the Dominican Republic on Monday.
Ottley said that the director of Civil Aviation is mandated to take such decisions, but he should have informed then cooler heads would have prevailed because he would have intervened prior to the matter escalating.
Ottley said WINAIR has an agreement with the Dominican Republic for chartered flights, however, there were some miscommunications with the parties involved, he said in the first letter sent out by Civil Aviation, he as the Acting Minister of TEATT and Foreign Affairs was copied, however that letter has nothing to do with the ban. He further explained that in the letter that was circulated by social media he was not officially informed, however, the Civil Aviation Director does have that mandate that was issued before he took office.
Ottley said since the ban was issued, he did hold discussions with the director of Civil Aviation because he is ultimately responsible for the decisions taken by the country. He said after having that discussion he opted to place his focus on resolving the issues between the two countries.
Ottley said that once all information was gathered, they came to realize that WINAIR applied for a license for commercial flights since they already have an agreement for chartered flights. Ottley said the Dominican Republic has its guidelines and procedures, criteria, and regulations that applicants must follow to obtain such permits. He said after the discussions were held WINAIR was able to resume its chartered flights and is even allowed to sell tickets in the Dominican Republic which the bilateral agreement covers.
He said since the discussions the Dominican Republic has given both written and verbal guarantees that WINAIR will obtain the commercial licenses as long as they fully comply with the requirements based on the laws of the Dominican Republic. “ I want the general public to know that the ball is in WINAIR’s court to do what they need to do in order to obtain a license for regular commercial flights.”
Ottley said the letter sent to the Dominican Republic sent by the Director of Civil Aviation was sent with good intentions and for him since no longer about the problems but in fact, it's about finding solutions.
Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs said that since the problem escalated on Monday, she received an update from the country’s national airline while she is apprised by the Acting Minister of TEATT. Jacobs said while the government was not officially informed she believed the right effect because it brought everyone around the table.