Minister Grisha Heyliger-Marten not in favor of contract renewal for airport CEO

July 6, 2024 3:29 pm

Under no circumstances should the contract of the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Princess Juliana International Airport operating company (PJIAE), Brian Mingo, be renewed when it expires in December. That is the position of Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication, Grisha Heyliger-Marten, as expressed in a letter dated July 4, 2024, to the Managing Director of the airport holding company (PJIAH), Perry Wilson.  

The letter was an acknowledgement of a correspondence of June 20, 2024, from PJIAH giving detailed answers to questions the Minister had posed regarding the airport.  

“Further to your response,” Minister Heyliger-Marten wrote, “I would like to clarify my position regarding the upcoming transition in leadership. Kindly note that I am not in favor of an overlap period between the current and incoming Managing Director (CEO). Moreover, my position remains that the current CEO’s contract should not be renewed under any circumstances when it expires in December.”

According to the Minister, renewing the CEO’s contract will be rewarding him for the long-drawn out delay in the reconstruction of the airport, bad management that has resulted in millions of dollars in extra cost of the project, and what some staff members have called a “reign of terror” of the CEO.  

“Those are three strikes already,” Heyliger-Marten said in an invited comment. “The airport needs a new and effective management with fresh ideas when the reconstruction is finally completed,” the Minister said.  

Heyliger-Marten had recently requested the airport to pay government the security fee of one dollar per departing passenger that was enacted by law in 2019, which the airport has never paid up till now.

“I trust that this position will be taken into account as you move forward with the recruitment and transition process,” the Minister stated in her letter, which was copied to the Council of Ministers.

“Ensuring a smooth and effective leadership transition is of utmost importance, and I am confident that you can achieve this without the need for an overlap period or contract renewal,” Heyliger-Marten added.​