That’s according to manager of the Saint Lucia Air and Seaports Authority, SLASPA, Sean Matthew. He was at the time addressing the business community on the revised approach to redeveloping the Hewanorra International Airport and commensurate commercial opportunities.
In a comprehensive presentation on both airports, the SLASPA head said over the past 10 years there has been a steady reduction in the amount of traffic at the George FL Charles Airport.
“What this shows is our passenger movement from 2002 to 2012 – a 10-year horizon that has shown a steady decline in the utilization of the airport and the utilization of passengers. Obviously in 2006/ 07 we lost Caribbean Star. LIAT attempted to put additional flights that didn’t work. We had the loss of American Eagle on August 21, 2012 and we continue to manage a LIAT operation which has moved from six flights a day to ten, whereas we previously had in excess of 55 flights a day.”
In spite of reduced profitability, Matthew said the airport has to meet internationally acceptable standards.
“Clearly this is something that we, meaning SLASPA, have to mange because once you operate an aerodrome all the safety factors must be in place. There is no way you can allow one plane to land without having the prerequisites required to at least safely land that plane,” he said.
SLASPA, he said, has employed various measures to deal with the viability issues of the Vigie located aerodrome such as a reduction in the airport’s operating hours and a downsizing in personnel.
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