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Editorial - Effective deterrent

Some idiot found it necessary to not only seriously inconvenience thousands of people, but also cause considerable financial damage particularly to airlines servicing the island, with a false bomb threat at Princess Juliana International Airport SXM. It’s actually at least the third time in five years this has happened.

A similar call was received on Friday, February 19, 2010, and led to a shutdown of the airport. Prosecutors announced at the time they would be going after the culprits.

That same year on December 30 – just about the busiest date for aviation – the airport was closed again for some two hours after Winair was informed from Nevis that there was a bomb on board one of its Twin Otters. Again, an investigation was to be launched with the help of Nevisian authorities.

On December 6 last year, a Saturday, which is the main travel day for St. Maarten in connection with timeshare weeks, a bomb scare also involving KLM caused widespread disruption both on the ground and in the air. There were indications the hoax was related to technical problems with the plane and ensuing delays.

The latter gave hope that those responsible perhaps could be tracked down and brought to justice, but nothing more has been heard since. That is regrettable, because setting a public example in such cases could act as an effective deterrent for the future.

Hopefully, this will be different when it comes to Friday’s incident, in the sense that somebody can be held accountable. As long as that is not done, one has to fear this type of highly antisocial behaviour may continue to be repeated.

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