November 01, 2007
A new and innovative initiative, the first of its kind on Nevis, took effect on Thursday November 1st 2007, at the Vance W. Amory International Airport and is expected to bring the island on par with international parking standards at port facilities.
An opening ceremony to inaugurate the airport car parking toll booth and taxi pavilion took place on the airport environs at Newcastle on Wednesday October 31, 2007. The event signaled another milestone in the thrust of the Nevis Reformation Party led-Administration to develop and improve the port facilities on the island.
Mr. Spencer Hanley, Manager of the Nevis Air and Sea Ports Authority (NASPA) explained that the paid parking facility would be financially beneficial to the airport and would not have any undue financial burden on users who would be required to pay a minimal fee.
“You will pay practically nothing to park here ““ a mere EC$1.00 per hour (or part thereof). When you consider the high costs involved in maintaining an airport this is a small price to pay towards the upkeep of your beautiful airport,” Mr. Hanley said.NASPA had advised the motoring public through the local media on the paid auto parking rates and demonstrated how the system worked through a promotion on Channel 8 Television.
The NASPA official further noted that vehicles that remained overnight at the airport parking lot on October 31 would be subject to the paid auto parking rates which took effect from 5:00 am on November 1st 2007.
In addition, Mr. Hanley recalled when taxi drivers enjoyed recreational activities at “Millie’s” Bar at the old airport while they waited between flights. He announced that in the new dispensation, the taxi drivers had long yearned for a similar recreational facility and said NASPA had recognised the need and had constructed a pavilion for the benefit of the taxi drivers.
Meantime, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NASPA and Financial Secretary, Mr. Laurie Lawrence outlined the mandate that the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) had given the Directors to market and develop the port facilities in Nevis which had been taken seriously.
“When the Minister of Finance appointed the present Board of Directors, he gave us a mandate to continue to market and develop the port facilities in an effort to generate new sources of revenue, provide employment opportunities for our people, and to develop our tourism product together with the Tourism Authority and Ministry of Tourism.
“The Minister no doubt recognises the strong nexus between port development and tourism and also the critical role the port plays in our overall development strategy,” the Chairman said.
He also seized the moment to highlight some of the other initiatives undertaken by the Authority and called on all the stakeholders to assist in improving the quality of service as NASPA strived to find ways to increase revenue and profitability.
“We believe therefore, that the small fee is a fair charge and we appeal to the people of Nevis to cooperate fully as we continue to upgrade and provide better services for the benefit of all.
“Our airport is the first and last place that a tourist sees and thus provides the first and last impressions for our tourists. It is therefore important that taxi operators, customs, immigration, security, airline agents and all other organisations and individuals involved with the Airport provide a high quality service to users of this facility,” he said.
In NASPA’s quest to provide first class services at the Vance W. Amory Airport, it also refurbished and outfitted the VIP lounge with cable television and Internet Services provided for a small user fee.
Member of the Board of Directors of NASPA, Mrs. Ermine Queeley-Evelyn, a Newcastle resident, was invited and escorted to cut the ribbon for the commencement of the car-park toll booth and taxi operators pavilion operation.
Also in attendance at the historic ceremony were members of the Board of NASPA, security and port workers, business representatives and invited guests. The ceremony was chaired by Airport Manager, Mr. Marvin Hanley, while Airport Operations Officer, Miss Shelly Weekes gave the vote of thanks.