THE Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA), the Immigration Department and the Customs and Excise Department on Wednesday, signed the Protocol for the re-opening of airports for special flight operations for airports in Saint Lucia.
SLASPA said this was “a significant achievement” as the George F.L. Charles and Hewanorra International Airports do not operate on a 24 hour basis. However, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has designated aircrafts in emergency, hospital aircrafts, aircrafts involved in Search and Rescue Operations and government designated flights must be given priority to operate.
SLASPA together with officials from the Customs and Immigration Departments established the protocol to deal with the reopening of the airports once closed. Mr. Lambert Remy, Head of Airports indicated that “the signing of this document is a significant milestone because it establishes exact procedures to be followed if it becomes necessary to open the airport for special flights. The document also identifies the personnel to be contacted if necessary. Moreover, these officers will be available when called upon.”
At the brief ceremony which was held in SLASPA’s Conference Room representatives from each agency signed the document indicating concurrence with the established protocol which will be circulated to various stakeholders to ensure that they understand the process which must be adhered to in opening for airports after closing times.