The CCAA’s oversight on economic licences, flight authorizations and the economic fitness of Curaçao carriers
The CCAA authorizes air transport operations to, from or via Curaçao by both local and foreign air transport operators. As instructed by law, it provides economic permits to local carriers, based on nationality criteria and a continuous assessment of their financial-economic capacity to operate.
Curaçao and foreign carriers need to obtain the “traffic rights” to start international operations. Traffic rights can either be incorporated in existing agreements applicable between Curaçao and foreign countries, or can be agreed outside the scope of such agreements.
The CCAA collects and analyses statistics from local air operators, the airport and the air navigation service provider. These are periodically submitted to ICAO in the framework of its statistics programme, and can also be used for national (economic) policy development purposes.
Economic licences for Curaçao carriers
The Economic licence is an authorisation granted by the CCAA to an undertaking, permitting it to provide air services as stated in the permit. It should be distinguished from the Air Operator Certificate (AOC), which functions as proof that the undertaking has the technical capacity to operate the services in a safe and secure manner. When the CCAA receives an application for an Economic licence, the CCAA will evaluate some of the following documents among others:
- Company ownership and control
- Supply and demand on the market(s) which the undertaking wishes to serve
- The undertaking’s structure and management
- The financing plan for the first two years of operations
The entire process of handling applications, including application criteria, is detailed in the economic licensing Decree called ‘Landsbesluit houdende algemene maatregelen’, van de 15de februari 2005 ter uitvoering van artikel 8, vierde lid, van de Luchtvaartlandsverordening (P.B. 2001, no. 151) (Landsbesluit geregeld en ongeregeld luchtvervoer) (Economische vergunning).
Fitness of Curaçao carriers
Article 6 of the economic licensing Decree stipulates that Curaçao registered airlines are obliged to submit their audited financial accounts yearly, including the information deemed necessary to assess their viability. Additional information can be required ad hoc in case it becomes clear that the airline’s financials are unhealthy. A key motive behind this assessment of the airline’s “fitness” is to guarantee the safety of the airline’s operations. The CCAA carries out the assessments on the basis of a standard methodology, using financial ratios such as the airline’s liquidity and solvency.
Air traffic rights
The rights of airlines to operate services to, from or via Curaçao are regulated in Air Services Agreements (ASAs) that Curaçao has negotiated with third countries. An airline wishing to start new international services has to request the CCAA for authorization to obtain the right to operate on the requested route(s). Based on the information submitted by the airline, the CCAA will verify whether the requested operations are allowed under an existing ASA. If this is not the case, a request can be approved on an extra-bilateral basis and a declaration of reciprocity may be solicited from the carrier’s home country.
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