Commercial flights still not being accepted, says airport manager

Basseterre, 21st May, 2020, (MyVueNews.com) – The topic of border closure, continues to be an issue in St. Kitts and Nevis, similar to sister Caribbean states, as they continue to fight their way out of a global COVID-19 pandemic.

But for the twin-island state, there is added pressure now that the citizens here are in the middle of a General Election.

However, Manager at the Robert Bradshaw International Airport, Elsworth Warner,has confirmed that they are currently not accepting commercial flights.

But he explained that though commercial flights are presently not on the cards, certain special flights are permitted, once the prescribed guidelines are complied with by those hoping to travel.

These have included medical flights, the repatriation of citizens and for those non nationals wanting to leave the country.

In addition, he indicated that flights with cargo have also been allowed to enter and leave the territory.

Warner encouraged persons seeking approval to write to the CEO of SCASPA, Denzil James at denzil.james@scaspa.com or call him at 662-7273 or 465-8121. He said persons can also contact him at elsworth.warner@scaspa.com or call him at 662-5812.

The manager explained how the process works when it comes to the medical flights. He said, “If someone suddenly gets ill and needs to be flown out of St. Kitts for special treatment, this flight can take place.”

“All we need to know is that the flight is coming to take out the patient,” he said.

He continued, “If the flight needs to depart even outside of the stipulated six to six hours, we just need a discussion. Life must be saved so we will just inform our Attorney General, who is a gentleman with a good heart, and he will give the approval for that to happen.”

Warner indicated that there have also been flights of nationals returning home.

“We’ve also seen a few arrivals of our own persons. This has been going on for quite a while and will still go on as long as the appropriate application for such is made,” he said.

The airport manager said that approval for these types of operations can be received from the COVID-19 National Task Force through the management of the St. Christopher Air and Seaports Authority (SCASPA).

The airport is likewise accommodating emergency flights, said Mr. Warner.

“If there is an aircraft operating within our airspace and that aircraft finds itself in difficulty, running short of fuel, engine problem, we will open and receive,” he said.

Photo: Robert Llewyn Bradshaw, St. Kitts