THE Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) met recently to discuss the aviation challenges facing the Eastern Caribbean region and what steps need to be taken to improve intra-regional travel for everyday citizens.
A delegation from IATA, including IATA’s Caribbean Area Manager, Security and Facilitation Manager and Industry Relationship Manager, visited the OECS Headquarters in Saint Lucia to dialogue on issues raised at the Caribbean Aviation Day held earlier this year in Barbados.
OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules welcomed the outreach by IATA in resolving the aviation concerns within the region.
“We welcome the opportunity to dialogue with IATA, since their objectives and our responsibilities converge.
“Whilst taxation and airport fees may be more contentious, issues such as border management systems and operational efficiencies at airports are areas that we can benefit from IATA’s knowledge and information-sharing, in order to accelerate a single domestic space and implementation of a successful multi-destination tourism strategy” said Dr. Jules.
Among the issues discussed at the meeting were current barriers for growth in intra-regional travel, upgrading of border management systems to more user-friendly systems, more efficient handling of passengers through airports and how to balance the elimination of ED Cards with tourism data needs.
IATA’s Area Manager for the Caribbean, Ms. Annaleen Lord expressed the confidence that working together, IATA and the OECS Commission can assist in preparing the Eastern Caribbean to take advantage of the trends in global passenger growth.
“Aviation is built on partnerships and collaboration. Our meeting with OECS Commission lays the groundwork for creating opportunities to cooperate more closely to support aviation’s ability to deliver even more value to the Eastern Caribbean region” said Ms. Lord.