(PRESS RELEASE) — 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 July 7.
The objective of the exercise was to test the readiness and efficiency of airport 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.
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, as well as visitors and returning residents a level of comfort knowing that health and safety is a priority of the Government of Saint Lucia.
This exercise simulated the departure process from the curb to boarding, and arrivals—which involve disembarking, screening at the port health facility, 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 Ragunan, Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association, Mr. Noorani Azeez, officials from the Ministry of Tourism, the Saint Lucia Tourism Association, the Office of the Prime Minister, the airport community and senior management of SLASPA.
SLASPA remains committed to ensuring the safety of its employees, stakeholders, customers and all of Saint Lucia, and will continue to work with the relevant authorities to jointly mitigate possible risks of the virus. 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.