Recently Amigoe has done several articles on the status of air travel in Aruba. The following is another in a line of eye opening ones.
Amigoe; December 29, 2005: Air Traffic Controllers request to hear their complaints
Luchtverkeersleiders vragen gehoor voor hun klachten
ARUBA Ã¢â‚¬” In a short period of time, the Aruban association of air traffic controllers (Actaa) sounds the alarm again about the unacceptable situation in which their members have to do their job and the consequences of this for the safety of the air traffic. The air traffic controllers (atc) complaint about the bad policy of the Aviation Administration and they hope that minister Edison Briesen (MEP) of Tourism and Transportation will take their complaints seriously this time.
The entire system for flight control that was installed in 1990 had never worked. In order to guarantee the safety of airplanes and passengers, a bigger distance between two aircrafts must be maintained, due to radio contacts with aircraft crew and flight control in Curacao. This results in delays. The atc say that in 1990, 500.000 florins were paid for an ADF, a system that helps the airplanes find their destination. The system went broke and was never repaired. In 1995, 25 million florins were invested in a radar-system, which was never put into operation. In their latest letter of complaint, the atc didn’t mention the financial compensation they are asking for working in this facility and that the message was that there is no money now and also not in the near future. In 1999, 1.8 million florins were invested in the upgrade of the software to make the system Y2K compatible. In 2004, another 1.2 million florins were invested in an Instrument Landing System (ILS) and in 2005, 1.5 million florins for a Vhf Omni Directional Range and Distance Measurement Equipment (VOR DME).
The comment that “the message was that there is no money now and also not in the near future” is absolutely astounding. An island in the Caribbean where 70% of its revenue is based upon tourism and how to get those tourists on and off an island makes that statement? How many millions of dollars funnel in through tourism? The infrastructure and safety of the airport one would think would be the primary concern. Just some helpful advice, but without the airport fully operational or lets say up to standard … what would the tourism be like? This has nothing to do with a boycott, but just good common sense.