#Providenciales, June 7, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Warmer seas in the tropics mean there will be more storms for the Caribbean region, including the Turks and Caicos Islands informed Dr. Virginia Clerveaux, Director of the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies.
“The forecasters are now predicting, six hurricanes, up from the previous prediction of five in April. The projected number of named storms including tropical storms, has also increased from 13 to 14. However, the prediction of two major hurricanes remains unchanged.”
The slight change in the forecast was announced by meteorologists with Colorado State University and while the number of major hurricanes remains at two, Dr. Clerveaux on Tuesday in a DDME Hurricane Season press conference reminded that really, one is more than enough to bring grave destruction.
“Whether this year be a slightly below season, a near normal season or an active season it is important for every resident of the Turks and Caicos Islands to prepare as if they are expecting a direct impact of a major storm. It is easier to scale down than to scale up preparations.”
The Director, in a comprehensive presentation assured that if there were a storm to cause communication catastrophe, the Turks and Caicos Islands are ready.
“In 2017, satellite phones proved to be an invaluable asset in the coordination and response activities as a result of this, all critical agencies can now boast of having satellite phones to be used as a back up in the event of a communication failure. We have created a data base which contains the sim numbers for these satellite phones and the person it has been assigned to. Persons have also been training in how to effectively operate these satellite phones.”
Turks and Caicos Islands also has three BGANs; Broadband Global Area Network devices which are held at the Grand Turk office of the DDME, the Providenciales Office of the DDME and at the Governor’s Office.
“Which allows us to use a satellite in order to transmit information by phone or the internet after an emergency,” Dr. Clerveaux added, “this further strengthens our emergency communication capabilities should there be a major disruption to our normal communication networks.”
The Director said, “Having a plan in place, being familiar with the plan helps to improve efficiency in coordinating and responding to emergencies.”
Attending the press conference held Tuesday at the DDME office in Providenciales were Minister of Tourism with new responsibility for Disaster Management, Hon Ralph Higgs and Deputy Director of Public Works, Gavin Thomas.
There is no tropical cyclone activity expected in the next four days according to the Bahamas Department of Meteorology. The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season began on Saturday June 1 and ends on Saturday November 30, 2019.
GOVERNMENT CONDEMNS SICK OUT ACTION OF AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS
PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS (March 1st, 2024): The Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) assure the travelling public that all measures are being implemented to mitigate the sick out action by Air Traffic Controllers at the Howard Hamilton International Airport.
All agencies – The Office of the Governor, The Office of the Premier, The TCIAA, The Turks and Caicos Royal Police Force, Experience Turks and Caicos – are working together to ensure that our travellers are not inconvenienced.
Our law enforcement partners, the Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force have affirmed their commitment to ensure the safety and security of travellers, airport personnel and the TCI community amidst the challenges posed by the action of the Air Traffic Controllers and are working with all partners to ensure safety.
All travellers are advised to check with their relevant airlines for any possible delays.
Industrial Action at TCI Airport
Hon. Edwin A. Astwood
Leader of the Opposition
The leadership of the People’s Democratic Movement is currently monitoring the ongoing industrial action at the Howard Hamilton International Airport, our nation’s primary gateway. It is disheartening to know that our workers’ job dissatisfactions, in particular the Air Traffic controllers, have reached a point where they saw that it was in their best interest to take this stance here today.
The PDM believes in being proactive rather than reactive, and that discussions to ensure the workers’ satisfaction at the Howard Hamilton International Airport, should be ongoing, and discrepancies and complaints should be addressed at their earliest time to minimize dissatisfaction.
Delays at the airport are not good for anyone: not good for our people who have to travel to and from our family islands, not good for persons traveling to seek medical attention, not good for visitors leaving to return home, not good for visitors who have chosen the Turks & Caicos Islands and have the choice to cancel and go to another destination to go on vacation, not good for the taxi/tour operators and our people working in the tourism industry, and not good for the image of the country.
This also underscores the critical need to engage the International Labor Organization (ILO) to conduct a thorough assessment of our outdated labor laws. This review must encompass both the public and private sectors to safeguard against any exploitation, mistreatment, or under-compensating of workers in our country,
The People’s Democratic Movement is dedicated to this cause and is committed to formally engaging the ILO to conduct a comprehensive review of our labor laws within the first 30-60 days of assuming Office as the new government of these islands. Additionally, we stand steadfast in implementing any recommendations for improving employee well-being, job satisfaction, and productivity, while also providing the environment for business long-term success.
By adopting a comprehensive approach that considers the needs of both the workers and the businesses, the Peoples’ Democratic Movement believes that our country can create a balanced regulatory framework that supports economic growth, protects workers’ rights, and fosters a fair and sustainable work environment for all stakeholders.
The PDM is the ANSWER…
JOINT STATEMENT FROM HER EXCELLENCY THE ACTING GOVERNOR AND THE HONOURABLE PREMIER ON THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL STRIKE AT THE HOWARD HAMILTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos 1 March 2024 – The Acting Governor Her Excellency Anya Williams and Premier Hon. Charles Washington Misick can confirm that industrial action in the form of an apparent sick out is currently being taken by a number of Air traffic Controllers (ATC) at the Howard Hamilton International Airport on Providenciales and the JAGS McCartney International Airport on Grand Turk regarding issues of pay and working conditions.
The Acting Governor and Premier met earlier today with the Executive Chair, CEO, and senior leadership of the TCIAA. Following on from this a meeting was held with the Chairman of the TCI Air Traffic Controllers Association; a further meeting is planned with the Air Traffic Controllers later today to discuss their return to work.
The Air Traffic controllers in 2022 received two separate pay increases totaling 31%.
In addition to this, the Government following the implementation of the Public Service Pay and Grading Review in December 2023, committed to a comprehensive review of the pay and benefits of all statutory bodies which led by PGR Consultants Erst and Young (Jamaica) is due to commence in March 2024 and should not exceed four months.
Acting Governor stated: “The safe and efficient operation of our airports is critical to ourislands both from an economic and a national security perspective. All stakeholders have been engaged to ensure all contingencies in place.
We are working with TCIAA officials to ensure that there a minimal disruption to incoming and outgoing flights and are engaging with ATC officers to discuss and agree their return to work.”
Premier Hon. C. Washington Misick stated: “I am collaborating with TCIAA and all stakeholders to restore smooth operations at the Howard Hamilton International Airport. My government and I are in frequent communication with all stakeholders, domestically and internationally, as the situation unfolds.
The safety of all travellers is our top priority, both domestically and internationally, and we will do our best to avoid any disruptions to anyone’s travel plans.”
The Honorable Arlington Musgrove, Minister for Immigration and Border Services has been engaged throughout the morning on this matter and is currently en route to the TCI following his attendance at the Forty-Sixth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), so that he can attend the planned meeting later today with the Air Traffic Controller Association, the Acting Governor, Premier and TCIAA leadership.
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