Cape Air Plane on Nevis Runway
November 22, 2011
Despite an official ceremony planned for November 30, General Manager of the Nevis Air and Sea Ports Authority [NASPA], Mr. Spencer Hanley, and Airport Manager Mr. Stephen Hanley joined members of staff of the Vance W. Amory [VWA] International Airport in the inaugural welcome of United States-based airline, Cape Air.
Cape Air, which touched down at the former Newcastle Airport on November 11, has since been providing daily trips to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The longstanding company plans to extend its Nevisian service on December 22, with an additional flight. Since its inaugural flight, Cape Air has departed Nevis at 10:00 am and returned at 6:00 pm.
“We are extremely excited. It’s always good to have additional airlifts into Nevis, regardless of size,” General Manager Hanley said as he spoke with the Department of Information about the benefits to the island’s economy.
“It means landing fees, parking fees and other types of fees and it also means that tomorrow morning [November 12], the passengers who are outbound will be able to get out at an early time. It is extremely important to us, as a destination, as an airport, to be able to provide that type of service,” Mr. Hanley added.
Realising that many Nevisians desire to “take day trips to San Juan,” the NASPA official said the new service meant great things “for the tourism sector.”
“Now people can realise their dreams of flying directly into Nevis and also too, beyond that, even local persons whether you are the expats or the local you and me, we can now take day trips into San Juan and do our shopping and be able to get back here by night-time to enjoy Nevis,” General Manager Hanley explained.
Meantime, Airport Manager Hanley was particularly pleased to welcome the new service, as, according to him, “it had been rather slow” [recently] at the VWA International Airport.
“It has been difficult at times to see our way but we are happy for the additional business that is coming on and we are hoping that there would be others to follow,” Airport Manager Hanley said, adding that Cape Air’s service was expected to “assist the [tourism] industry.”
“Yes, it’s a smaller aircraft and it can only carry nine passengers at a time but every little bit counts and that is what we are hoping for: that we can build on this,” he said while noting that “Cape Air had done a lot of work in preparing” to add Nevis to its list of destinations.
“They had their maintenance crew in, their fuel people in, their station people in, the ramp trainers and everybody related in their aspect of the industry: all the ground work. I’m really impressed with their preparation and so I believe that they have done their homework and that they would certainly do a good job,” Airport Manager Hanley explained.
Captain Michael Aceto, like his passengers, received a “warm Nevisian welcome” from the airport’s staff, particularly Immigration Official, Mrs. Sandra Willett.
“I love serving Nevis,” he said as he underpinned the joy felt when “serving the community.”
“This place is beautiful. It’s wonderful and I’m having a lot of fun.”
Cape Air is headquartered in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and currently serves in excess of 50 destinations, including most of the Virgin Islands.