Connect with us

News

90 per cent of Private Flights STUCK as Congestion at PLS spills over

Published

on

By Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 24, 2022 – It is indisputable; there is simply not enough space within the uncomfortable facility we call the Providenciales International Airport and not enough room on its extended tarmac either, but you don’t have to be directly at the PLS for the pressures and frustrations of the congestion due to thousands of travellers and over a dozen flights to adversely affect your travel plans.

While everyone agrees this is a time to celebrate, as the demand for the destination is at an all-time high, everyone we have interviewed also agrees the mismanagement of the boom is increasingly becoming a reputational risk threatening to derail the prosperity.

Private airports or Fixed Base Operators say the lack of planning and hours long bans on private aircraft into and out of Providenciales, is maddening and expensive.

“On weekends and particularly Saturdays with the TCIAA imposed ban on all General Aviation aircraft arrivals, many of our clients are made to wait on ground at their point of origin for many hours, some having their flights cancelled as the crew runs out of duty hours.”

Roger Murphy, General Manager, Blue Heron Aviation shared the impact on private air operations is significant and it is impacting the reputation of Turks and Caicos as a leading private jet destination.

TCI consistently ranks in the Top 3.

“The aircraft operators themselves (are) losing flights as the aircraft cannot make the turnarounds in a timely fashion.  So revenue is being lost all around and inconvenience to the top 15 per cent of the High Net Worth individuals coming to the TCI – we are concerned this will push the traffic to other less restrictive destinations.”

Veteran FBO operator Deborah Aharon, CEO of Provo Air Center shared similar sentiments, adding that it is costly, it is a negative strike on the country’s standings and it is also unsafe.

“Of the average 25 planes we have on Saturdays, only three or four of them manage to get in on schedule, and that’s if we’re lucky.  The airport NOTAM blocking private traffic between 12-5pm forces the private jets to try to get here before 12.  Most of them try to come between 11 and 12.  With so many flights expected at the same time, the FBOs have to use all their staff and start them early in the morning.”

Aharon said this solution however is still plagued by decisions local authorities cannot control.

“What happens next is that the FAA sees the potential congestion and institutes flow control, ie they only allow a few jets to depart for Provo at a time.  This means that the rest of our expected jets are delayed until the block is in effect, and now they can’t land until after 5pm.  With flow control still in effect, they start landing after five and continue far into the night.

This forces the FBOs and the tower to keep their staff on long past their usual time – costing money in overtime and ensuring that everybody is extremely tired.  It’s not safe or healthy,” said Aharon on Wednesday.

In two days, the heavy flow of guests through the Providenciales International Airport returns.  The guests are welcomed, the headache the lack of space at the facility creates is not and according to the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association, TCHTA this buoyancy continues throughout April.

“We are concerned in a big way, but we know that there are limitations to the existing structure.  We are optimistic that in working with the new CEO some agreeable solutions may be found to resolve the congestion,” said Stacy Cox, Executive Director of the TCHTA.

Godfrey Smith, new interim CEO of the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority joined the team mere months ago.  The problem at the airport is a legacy issue, and he says he is working to rectify it.  The TCIAA also admits to tough decisions related to the FBOs and their decision on the ban of private aircraft is driven by the fact that 96 per cent of guests arrive by commercial flights.

“The decision to put a small exclusive time frame to such air carriers (ONLY) had been implemented for Saturday afternoons to support the vast majority of passengers, taxi-cab operators, and hotel workers. Be clear on this matter, this restriction to FBO operations is for ONLY on SATURDAYS; and ONLY between 12 and 5PM; and is ONLY applied to INBOUND FBO operations. Also, for information TCIAA has been in discussions with FBOs on this matter and the decision is whether the greater impact of this very small window is to the majority visitors to TCI. The TCIAA has waived this this rule in many cases to accommodate FBOs when requested and appropriate,” informed a statement issued yesterday afternoon (March 23).

But for Provo Air Center, which has won numerous global and regional awards for service standards as an operator in destination Turks and Caicos, the fall out due to the private flight ban is a problem in need of equal attention and priority.

“Provo is one of the busiest destinations for private jet traffic in the Caribbean, and the majority of it is charter traffic, ie planes that are not actually owned by the visitors, just rented. Delaying charter flights costs the operators a lot of money – their pilots run out of duty hours while sitting on the ground and the operator has to scramble to find fresh pilots.  They can’t complete their drop off in Provo on time and proceed to their next scheduled job, and it has far reaching financial consequences.  That only needs to happen to them a few times before they learn to stop accepting charter requests to Provo.”

This weekend, it will be worse as Turks and Caicos goes from over 4,000 guests to 13,000 arrivals on Saturday and Sunday.

“TCIAA is well aware of the importance of save guarding our tourism product. The hard-working team at the Authority are diligently working each day to mitigate the current situation…” and it was reiterated, “… the airport in Providenciales is an important economic engine for the overall continued success of these islands. The Ministry, Board of Directors, Executives, the Management and staff of the TCIAA are fully aware of its importance, and all are working to give our visitors a better experience.”

It is expected a stakeholder meeting will happen before Saturday.

News

13th Annual Wine Cellar Golf & Fishing Tournament (WCGFT) Check Presentation Ceremony – 5th April, 2023

Published

on

#TurksandCaicos, April 10, 2024 – We are proud to announce that this year’s proceeds from the 13th WCGFT were presented to 3 youth-oriented organizations: Edward Gartland Youth Centre, TCI Amateur Athletic Association (TCIAAA) and TCI Swimming Federation (TCISF).

The Edward Gartland Youth Centre is a non-profit organization providing a space of learning for the youth of Providenciales with activities ranging from tutoring to sports and recreation, arts and craft and so much more.

TCIAAA and TCISF just represented the Turks & Caicos Islands in the CARIFTA Games in Grenada, 2024. We are proud of their achievements and happy that we could help in time.

The Charities were presented cheques totaling $70,000:

Edward Gartland Youth Centre:          $35,000

TCIAAA:                                            $20,000

TCISF:                                                $15,000

This brings the total donated by the WCGFT and its Sponsors to $530,000. We look forward to giving even more next year.

This concludes this year’s 13th WCGFT Event and Cheque Presentation. We would like to thank our sponsors and organizers who were key in our efforts to give back to the youth of the TCI Community.

We look forward with great anticipation to next year’s event.

Thank you all.

 

CONTACT: Desmond Williams, desmond@winecellar.tc, Wine Cellar Golf & Fishing Tournament

Continue Reading

News

Provo Water Company Boosts Water Distribution Infrastructure in Providenciales with Key Improvement Initiatives

Published

on

PROVIDENCIALES, TCI, APRIL 9, 2024: Provo Water Company (PWC) remains steadfast in its commitment to enhancing the water distribution network in Providenciales by making significant progress on various improvement projects while innovatively addressing short-term distribution challenges.

The company is currently working on two projects to enhance water distribution on Providenciales. The first project will see the installation of a new city water transmission main line from the TCWC Production Plant along June Plum, Gardenia Way, Kakeka Streets, and Garden Loop to the Leeward Highway, extending from the Long Bay Hills Drive junction to the roundabout near Crackpot Kitchen. This pipeline upgrade will provide increased water supply to the network and is expected to be completed by the end of May 2024, enhancing water reliability and ensuring better service for the community.

The second project, which is set to be completed by the end of September 2024, will focus on upgrading the fittings at major water junctions along the Leeward Highway. These improvements to the water supply network’s central artery will increase water flow to the Suzie Turn Reservoir, and enhance water availability and quality for customers located west of Turtle Cove.

These projects not only tackle the current water distribution issues causing nightly restrictions but are also essential components of PWC’s long-term strategy to support the island’s population growth and flourishing tourism industry. In the immediate term, the organization has resourcefully repurposed a newly built water tank located in the Industrial Park area. Originally designated for a future project, the water company has utilized the new tank as an additional source to replenish the Suzie Turn Reservoir, addressing the water supply issues that began in March.

In response to the new development, Managing Director Robert Hall stated, “We are pleased to have found a way to utilize this water tank as a temporary aid in addressing the high-water demand. The activation of this tank reaffirms our commitment to fulfilling the water requirements of our community in response to the growing demands of our customers and stakeholders.”

Situated in the heart of the Industrial Park area, the new tank boasts a capacity of 1.5 million gallons. This tank will work hand in hand with the Suzie Turn Reservoir to meet the water supply needs in the northern and southwestern areas of Providenciales, bridging the gap until ongoing projects deliver a lasting solution.

Once the two current projects have been completed, the new water tank will serve a critical role in a future project and in safeguarding Providenciales with an emergency water supply during crises like hurricanes and other natural disasters.

“This water system investment speaks volumes about our proactive approach to directly addressing water challenges. Through expanding storage capacity and optimizing distribution efficiency, we are well-positioned to deliver reliable, high-quality water services to our customers,” Hall said.

He also added that, amid these efforts, advocating for water conservation practices is crucial. Small actions, such as fixing leaks, using water-efficient fixtures, and practicing mindful water consumption, can play a significant role in safeguarding our valuable water resources.

In addition to these initiatives, the organization will continue to optimize and promote its robust educational campaigns and community engagement programs aimed at raising awareness about water conservation and the importance of sustainable water practices. By empowering individuals with knowledge and tools to make informed choices about water usage, Provo Water Company aims to foster a culture of responsible water stewardship that benefits both the environment and future generations.

“As we move forward, we remain committed to serving our community and look forward to the positive impact that these new initiatives will bring to this island.” Hall concluded.

For additional details about Provo Water Company and its water efficiency and conservation initiatives, visit its website, provowater.com and social media pages at @ProvoWaterCompany for tips and announcements, or contact our customer service team at customerservice@provowater.com.

 

Pic: Provo Water Company’s Managing Director, Robert Hall, and team working to expand water storage capacity to optimize distribution efficiency.

Continue Reading

Bahamas News

Saxons Brass Section Thanks CWCO for Continued Commitment

Published

on

NASSAU, BAHAMAS (April 9th, 2024) Behind the vibrant costumes and electrifying beats of Junkanoo parades are committed members, mentors, and supporters such as Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO). In a heartfelt acknowledgment of years of generous support, the Saxons Superstars’ brass section, High Voltage Brass, recently visited the water supplier to present a plaque of appreciation.

Jeremy Adderley, speaking on behalf of High Voltage Brass, said, “Without CWCO’s support, we would not have had the brass costumes needed to compete and secure our two-straight victory. Their support also helps us as we plan lessons for our young members to enhance their musicianship skills, not just for Junkanoo but for college and beyond.”

Adderley highlighted that the plaque is a token of High Voltage Brass’ immense gratitude for CWCO helping the Saxons Superstars keep culture alive and for being a steadfast partner in developing future leaders.

He added, “Every year, it is a struggle to make it to Bay Street. Many of our members are eager to participate, despite their circumstances, and every year our group continues to grow. Thanks to CWCO’s generosity, we look forward to continuing to grow and succeed alongside their great team and establishment.”

Henderson Cash, CWCO’s General Manager, said, “Receiving this plaque from the Saxons Superstars is a profound honor for us at CWCO. It symbolizes the strong relationship we’ve built over the years, rooted in mutual respect and a shared commitment to preserving Bahamian heritage.

“Our support for the Saxons Superstars’ brass section is emblematic of our broader mission to invest in our community’s vibrancy and the potential of its young people. We are deeply committed to continuing this support and fostering the traditions that make our culture so unique.”

 

Photo Caption: The Saxons Superstars’ brass section, High Voltage Brass, recently visited Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO) to present a plaque of appreciation.

Continue Reading

FIND US ON FACEBOOK

TRENDING