Publiká riba 17 February 2016
Ladies and gentlemen,
The expansion of the Curacao Airport signals a growing confidence in the island as both a destination, as for it being a hub for aviation traffic onward to other destinations making use of the Curacao Airport.
Lets remember that aviation is an engine for the economy and even more so for an open island economy as ours. With a changing global economy, where growth nowadays comes from established North American economies and emerging Latin American countries, we need to position ourselves at the economic top table.
If we are going to win the race for growth, we need not just to be connected to these markets, but be better connected than our competitors in the region.
This expansion goes a long way in creating the preconditions for an airport, which will be well connected, by fostering competition between airlines, which will be beneficial for the traveller not only in the range of destinations but also in keeping down costs. Leading players in the global economy based in Curacao, will feel the potential benefits of the expansion at the Curacao Airport and so will countless other companies based in Curacao.
Following the Airport City concept, the envisioned expansion also includes the creation of many facilities not solely linked to aviation, which will further enhance the appeal of the airport and Curacao to companies looking to establish their business in Curacao.
Air routes are the country’s vital trading routes and main source of tourism. Exports are not just about big business, for Small and Medium sized enterprises, exporting starts with a box on a plane, not a container on a ship.
And with a significant Financial Sector on the island, most exports are knowledge based and thus linked to the movement of people that are the carriers of this invaluable knowledge.
The expansion at the Curacao Airport will make our exporters more competitive. The expansion plans of the Airport ensure that this development is an environmentally responsible one. As part of this development innovative ways of energy management will be implemented.
Aviation, and aviation growth is often portrayed as a conflict between airports and local communities. With the expansion plans of the Curacao Airport, the reality will be far different, whereby the Airport will function as a critical and responsible part of the local island community.
In addition, the expansion of the Airport will leave more room for an improvement of the public services rendered at the Airport. By these services, I mean Immigration and Customs. An expansion of the work floor for these government agencies will provide them with the opportunities to further streamline and capacity build their operations. An improvement of the functioning of these services is essential for the goal of a better connected Airport and will support the vital economic role played by the Curacao Airport.
To conclude I want to add that I have learned much during the last few years about Curacao Airport’s role as an economic driver for Curacao, about the importance of regional and international links to Curacao’s hub and about its value for our exports.
Curacao Airport gives Curacao a unique competitive edge that would be foolish to ignore. And with this expansion I am convinced that there is a prize within our grasp, that of being a better connected country, enhancing the economic contribution of the Airport, while also being a showcase for responsible development.
If we are ambitious, Curacao can make its own future. The 21st Century can be our century.
That is why the government is backing the expansion of the Curacao Airport.