Improving Air Travel in the Eastern Caribbean

Improving Air Travel in the Eastern Caribbean

OECS / IATA Media Statement

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have met recently to discuss the aviation challenges facing the Eastern Caribbean region and what steps need to be taken to improve intra-regional travel for everyday citizens.

A delegation from IATA, including IATA’s Caribbean Area Manager, Security and Facilitation Manager and Industry Relationship Manager, visited the OECS Headquarters in Saint Lucia to dialogue on issues raised at the Caribbean Aviation Day held earlier this year in Barbados.

OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules welcomed the outreach by IATA in resolving the aviation concerns within the region.

“We welcome the opportunity to dialogue with IATA since their objectives and our responsibilities converge.

"Whilst taxation and airport fees may be more contentious, issues such as border management systems and operational efficiencies at airports are areas that we can benefit from IATA’s knowledge and information sharing, in order to accelerate a single domestic space and implementation of a successful multi-destination tourism strategy" said Dr. Jules.

Among the issues discussed at the meeting were current barriers for growth in intra-regional travel, upgrading of border management systems to more user-friendly systems, more efficient handling of passengers through airports and how to balance the elimination of ED Cards with tourism data needs.

IATA’s Area Manager for the Caribbean, Ms. Annaleen Lord expressed the confidence that working together, IATA and the OECS Commission can assist in preparing the Eastern Caribbean to take advantage of the trends in global passenger growth. 

"Aviation is built on partnerships and collaboration. Our meeting with OECS Commission lays the groundwork for creating opportunities to cooperate more closely to support aviation’s ability to deliver even more value to the Eastern Caribbean region" said Ms. Lord.

OECS Commission and IATA each pledged its commitment to continue to work together to gather the relevant data and information required in preparation for the Caribbean Aviation Summit to be hosted by IATA in 2019.

   This story aligns with OECS Strategic Objective No.1: Regional Integration.
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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

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