Aruba’s Department of Aviation preparing to become leader of aviation in the Caribbean

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During the past week, Aruba received a team of experts from ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) to provide assistance to Aruba’s Department of Civil Aviation (Directie Luchtvaart Aruba) for an evaluation of the current laws and processes of the department.

This was done in the context of the technical assistance that ICAO offers under the Systemic Assistance Programme (SAP). This assistance is possible thanks to efforts made last February, where a delegation from Aruba, consisting of minister of Transport, Mr. Ursell Arends, representatives of Directie Luchtvaart Mr. Edwin Kelly and Mr. Anthony Kirchner travelled to Mexico to meet with senior executives of ICAO. During this trip, Arends together with regional director of ICAO, Mr. Cintron signed the intention of commitment to implement the abovementioned program, which was already in progress.

This was a trip during which the delegation of Aruba had to make a big effort to defend the right of Aruba to continue benefitting from civil aviation. No country has a right for airplanes to take off or land, this is a privilege awarded to those who comply with international rules of civil aviation.

It must be noted that currently Aruba is in compliance with a big portion of international treaties thanks to efforts of the professionals at Directie Luchtvaart and other important stakeholders like ANSA, the airport and the meteorological department, but even so, it’s not in compliance with all of them, according to a press release. It is regrettable because despite all their efforts the past few years, they have fallen short because of lack of support and political commitment for matters regarding aviation. As a consequence of this, Aruba cannot be a regional leader, a reality that was also expressed by ICAO executives during a presentation given to the delegation of Aruba.

With the team from ICAO in Aruba, Directive Luchtvaart fulfilled its commitment to do everything in its power to implement processes to improve compliance with international aviation standards. All of this falls under preparations for an audit that is extremely important for Aruba, seeing that it will elevate the level of aviation safety in Aruba, which has a direct impact on our only economic pillar, which is tourism, as well as our quality of life, seeing as we import most of our products. The official audit is programmed to take place next year.

Minister Arends is pleased with the way the process is going and is extremely proud of our local professionals who showed willingness to work with the ICAO team to make Aruba a leader aviation in the Caribbean.