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Navigating the TCI Airport Conundrum: Seeking Sustainable Solutions

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As airport congestion tightens its grip globally, Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) grapple with their own aerial gridlock. When demand surpasses capacity, chaos ensues, leaving planes idling on runways and travelers stranded. Simply diverting or delaying flights won’t cut it; we need innovative solutions.
With a single airstrip on the main island and airport redevelopment a distant dream, our options are limited. Priority must be established: should private jets or commercial flights take precedence? Given tourism’s critical role in the islands, favoring commercial flights seems logical, yet private jets vie for attention.
With that being said, there is one proposal that stands out: Perhaps, North Caicos airport could be designated as a temporary solution for private jets. This would alleviate airspace congestion, with passengers easily ferried to Providenciales and other inhabited cays. In addition, it could open the door for a potential increase in private boat charter opportunities.
Albeit, airspace isn’t our sole concern; we owe stranded travelers relief, especially during summer’s peak season which is upon us.
Procuring tents which the government have proposed, other immediate fixes should be to complete the makeshift walkway on Providenciales airport tarmac. The long-term solutions demand a nuanced approach.
Could demand management, like increasing night flights, alleviate congestion without compromising safety?
Evidence-based intervention is key. A hiccup in US flights can cascade into chaos for TCI. With one airstrip and mounting flights, meeting demand is daunting. Failure to act imperils our status as a Caribbean hotspot and risks plummeting customer satisfaction.
As policymakers mull over solutions, one thing is clear: status quo isn’t an option. TCI’s future as a tourist haven hinges on our ability to navigate this airspace conundrum with innovation and foresight.
Beyond the immediate crisis lies a complex web of challenges. Anticipating the concerns of all stakeholders is crucial. Skeptics may question the feasibility of designating North Caicos airport for private jets. Will ferry services cope with increased demand? What about environmental impact? These are valid concerns that require thorough consideration.
Furthermore, we must address the broader implications of airport congestion. It’s not just about inconvenience; it’s about economic repercussions and environmental sustainability.
Delays will disrupt supply chains, hinder business travel, and deter investment. Moreover, increased air traffic contributes to carbon emissions and noise pollution, threatening our delicate ecosystems and quality of life.
To truly tackle this issue, we need a holistic approach that balances short-term fixes with long-term vision. Night flights may offer temporary relief, but they’re not a panacea. We must explore innovative technologies and operational strategies to optimize airspace usage and enhance efficiency.
Collaboration is key. Engaging with international aviation authorities, industry experts, and local communities can yield fresh perspectives and creative solutions.
Public-private partnerships which the government is currently exploring may unlock funding for infrastructure upgrades and research initiatives. Moreover, transparent communication and stakeholder engagement are essential for building trust and fostering consensus.
Investing in human capital is equally vital. Training air traffic controllers, airport staff, and emergency responders ensures seamless operations and crisis management. Also, education campaigns can raise awareness about responsible travel behavior and environmental stewardship.
Ultimately, the TCI airport dilemma is emblematic of broader challenges facing the aviation industry. It’s a microcosm of globalization, urbanization, and environmental degradation. But it’s also an opportunity for innovation, collaboration, and sustainable development.
By embracing change and thinking beyond the confines of tradition, we can transform this crisis into a catalyst for positive change. Let’s chart a course towards a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable future for TCI and beyond.

News

Opposition Leader strong admonition to New RBC Manager

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 29, 2024 – The Opposition has proposed to the new Managing Director of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), that the institution open new branches in the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI), with services that can lead to financial inclusion.

Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Edwin Astwood says while the Managing Director has his welcome to the TCI, he said a meeting she had with significant Government officials, has been keenly noted, especially for RBC’s involvement in funding key Government projects, and for “talks to progress further than this, I believe the discussion on Financial Inclusion must take place.

“Providing much-needed access to banking services to individuals and businesses in our underserved communities. This can help improve financial literacy and access to financial products for the family islands population outside of Providenciales,” the Opposition Leader said in a statement.

He added that a discussion on Supporting Economic Development, must also be on the table, as a “caring Government” would have been soliciting the respective bank for more access to capital for the people on TCI-owned businesses, stressing that the Opposition is cognizant of the fact that by offering small to medium-sized business loans, banks can support entrepreneurship and economic development in communities throughout the TCI.

Further, he said access to capital is crucial for small businesses to start and grow, and by providing loans, banks can help stimulate local economic activity and job creation, underscoring that when banks invest in rural districts through branches and business loans, they contribute to the overall growth and prosperity of the community.

“Small businesses are often the backbone of rural economies, and by supporting them, banks can help these communities thrive. I believe that banks doing business should be concerned about Building Customer Relationships. Opening branches in our family islands and underserved communities of Providenciales and providing business loans can help banks build long-term relationships with customers,” he said

He argued that by being present in the community and supporting local businesses, banks can establish trust and loyalty among residents, which can lead to increased customer retention and satisfaction.

Mr. Astwood in his strident statement, said citizens deserve better from banking institutions, and the people of Providenciales where the banks are located deserve better, and “our people in the family islands deserve better, therefore the TCI deserves better, and that is a PDM Government who will work to foster a healthy and inclusive financial system that includes serving the interests of all our people in all our islands,” he said.

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News

Norman B Saunders Airport Opens, opportunities touted by Gov’t

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 29, 2024 – Employment and business opportunities are now looming in the South Caicos, and Government officials are urging young people, along with entrepreneurs to prepare themselves and maximise the openings.

Speaking at the renaming of the of South Caicos Airport to the Norman B. Saunders Snr. International Airport, Deputy Governor, Hon. Anya Williams said the Government is diversifying the economy, and expanding tourism to all the outer islands.

“You have to be part of that. For this airport to operate as an international airport, we need additional staff. We will need immigration officers, custom officers, fire officers, and we will need other staff,” the Deputy Governor said.

She added that the Government is providing small grants, assistance in preparing business plans, and technical advice for the setting up of “your businesses. Prepare to come back home because your island will need you,” she told her audience.

The Deputy Governor noted that having had the opportunity to work with Mr. Saunders, she found him to be a great “encourager, and someone who is so smart and articulate,” and always take the opportunity to “grant wisdom” to others, and “I developed so much respect” for the former Parliamentarian, she said.

For Premier, Hon. Charles Washington Misick, the new airport is a catalyst for progress, as the Government has signed an agreement with American Airline, while major resorts are entering the area, and “plans are afoot to have an activity here, that you have never seen before in South Caicos,” he said.

Declaring that young people should “get ready,” the Premier said, “this is your moment, so, South Caicos, I want you to appreciate what you see here, I want you to treat it properly and well, and all of you, young people should strive to leave a positive legacy,” as Mr. Saunders has done, he said.

Mr. Misick also said Mr. Saunders who became Chief Minister of the Turks Caicos Islands (TCI), from 1980-1985, with responsibility, among other things, as well as  Immigration, Fisheries, Civil Aviation, went “above and beyond the call of duty,” in the performance of his duties, and “we are all better for it. Naming this airport in his honour, is only a very small token” of the recognition he should be given, the Premier said.

In his response, Mr. Saunders said he enjoyed all the moments in public live, and “we believe that South Caicos will be the next big spot, and area for tourism. I trust that this place will be the gateway to other islands, and I am confident that everything I did, was for the benefit of this country,” he said.

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Caribbean News

C&W Business to connect ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Media Hub  

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Official and Exclusive Telecommunications Provider for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

 

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (May 23rd, 2024) – The upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will feature a first-of-its-kind remote Media Hub at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Barbados.

And more than 200 traveling journalists are expected to cover the pinnacle event on the cricketing calendar and they will experience unparalleled connectivity and seamless connections, courtesy of C&W Business.

C&W Communications, the parent company of C&W Business, is the Official and Exclusive Telecommunications Provider in the Caribbean for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

“This groundbreaking facility will ensure that media professionals have access to high-speed internet and reliable telecommunications services, enabling them to cover the event seamlessly and efficiently,” said Nicolas Collette, Chief Commercial Officer, B2B, C&W Communications.

“We are very proud to be providing these connections through which the stories of this prestigious event will be told around the world. Our company has a long and proud association with cricket in the West Indies and we eagerly look forward to this next chapter.”

The Media Hub will serve as a central location where journalists can view all tournament matches and participate in a full range of in-stadia media activities.

“Our goal is to provide a world-class experience for the world’s press, and we are committed to delivering the best connections over the Caribbean’s best network. Our installation at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre is at an advanced stage and we have overbuilt it with added bandwidth and redundancy,” added Collette.

“This is a great moment for the Caribbean, and we are honored to play our part in welcoming the press and facilitating all their connectivity needs at the first-ever Media Hub for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.”

Part of the Liberty Latin America group of companies, C&W Communications is the leading entertainment and communications provider in the Caribbean with operations in 20 markets with the brands Flow, Flow Business, C&W Business and BTC. The company’s services are underpinned by over 50,000 kilometres of the most modern subsea and terrestrial fibre networks in the region.

Flow has also been announced as the presenting partner for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Volunteer Programme in the Caribbean.

More than nine hundred volunteers from across the West Indies will participate in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Volunteer Programme, which will serve as a cornerstone for supporting various aspects of the tournament including hospitality, logistics, and fan engagement.

As the Presenting Partner for the Volunteer Programme in the Caribbean, Flow will also play a pivotal role in ensuring volunteers are fully prepared to elevate the experience when tens of thousands of fans, media, players, and officials visit the West Indies in June.

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 blasts off on 1 June with the tournament’s first match featuring USA taking on Canada at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Full match fixtures are available HERE.

Match tickets, including party-stand tickets for Caribbean fixtures, and hospitality packages are available at tickets.t20worldcup.com. Box offices across the Caribbean are now open and tickets are available for sale there. Locations and operating hours are available HERE.

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