CAP wins case

Airport company Curaçao Airport Partners (“CAP”) is allowed to ask the airlines a fee for the use of the facilities at Hato. But because a regulatory board has not yet been established, the Court wishes to be informed by an expert about the amount of the fee. This is the outcome of legal proceedings of CAiP against American Airlines, KLM, DAE, Air Jamaica, SLM, Avior, Divi Divi, and TUI Airlines (ArkeFly). Judge Van der Bunt rendered the judgment this week.

The case has been dragging on for a long time. As early as July 2006, the Court gave a judgment in interlocutory proceedings as did the Court of Justice in May 2007. The Judge adopts the judgment of the Court of Justice and rules that CAP is entitled to demand additional fees from the airlines apart from the Passengers Facility Charge (PFC), and that CAP does not act unlawfully by charging these fees.

The airlines were ruled against on almost all points, for instance that CAP would act in conflict with the principles of good government, that the airport would not have insisted sufficiently on the establishment of the regulatory board, and that CAP has to provide a financial substantiation. Also that CAP would not have conducted sufficient consultation on the new tariffs, would not have involved the airlines sufficiently in the selection and option for the check-in system and the provider (UTS; editor) of data and voice traffic in itself does not entail that CAP cannot claim the fees.

The expert to be appointed in consultation with parties has to answer the question whether the fees charged by CAP are in conformity with the tariffs valid at airports similar as to scale, location, and region. CAP has to give the expert an idea of the financial substantiation. CAP and the airlines each pay half of the costs.

(Source: National newspaper Antilliaans Dagblad)

1 October 2008

CAP was represented by Freeke Kunst of the law firm VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne.

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