The Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Ministry of Tourism held a Simulation Exercise at the Hewanorra International Airport (HIA) on Tuesday 7th July 2020. The objective of this exercise was to test the readiness and efficiency of the airport and its operations in meeting the prescribed protocols of the Government of Saint Lucia and the international aviation regulatory bodies to mitigate the possible spread of COVID-19, with the return of international flights to the island.
The Department of Health and Wellness was an integral partner in providing the guidelines and personnel, as well as, oversight for the overall framework for the re-opening of the airport. This is in keeping with the Emergency Powers Act (Disaster) Covid-19 Statutory Instrument, No. 42 of 2020 for purposes of preventing, controlling and suppressing the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, it seeks to provide all operators within the airport community that level of comfort knowing that the Ministry sees health and safety as paramount to their wellbeing and that of visitors or returning nationals to Saint Lucia.
This exercise simulated the departure process from the curb to boarding and arrivals – which involve deplaning, screening at the port health facility, the immigration and customs processes and ground transportation. In attendance were representatives from a cross-section of the industry, among them included Chief Environmental Officer, Mr. Parker Ragnanan, Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association, Mr Noorani Azeez, Officials from the Ministry of Tourism and the Saint Lucia Tourism Association, Office of the Prime Minister, the airport community and senior management of SLASPA. SLASPA remains committed in ensuring the safety of its employees, stakeholders, customers and all of Saint Lucia by extension and will continue to work with the relevant authorities in a joint quest at mitigating possible risks of this virus.
For information about Saint Lucia’s COVID-19 response, all protocols and other details on requirements prior to entry, may be accessed at www.stlucia.org.