Friday, March 1, 2024

CTO working on ‘hassle-free’ travel


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THE DAYS OF multiple security checkpoints when travelling through the region might soon be at an end.

This is because the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), through its Aviation Task Force, is working towards the creation of a single or common space concept, to allow for seamless travel throughout the region.

This was revealed on Wednesday by Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, in his address at the15th Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System, at the Radisson Aquatica Resort.

Stating that the concept had been implemented in Europe and North America, Sealy said he hoped that it would be a positive feature of travel throughout the Caribbean region.

“This is intended to make travel hassle-free once you land in any CARICOM state, and ideally, the traveller would have one-stop security. For this to work, a tremendous collective effort is required, but it can be done.  This makes it even more critical for no state to be left behind, since we all need to have the same policies, offering seamless movement in aviation travel,” he indicated.

The Tourism Minister disclosed that earlier this year, he had discussed with Regional Director of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Melvin Cintron, that organisation’s “No State Left Behind” initiative, which he urged all regional governments to support. 

 “This seeks to ensure that all Caribbean States reach at least a 60 per cent effective safety implementation target for the eight critical elements as identified under the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme. These include enacting all relevant safety legislation and regulations, appropriate up-to-date training, technical guidance and regular inspections and audits.

“This ‘No State Left Behind’ policy also commits ICAO to standing firmly with States within the Caribbean region which have not reached Category I status, and helping them along the road to achievement of this desirable designation. Indeed, Barbados is one of those countries which aspire to Category I status and we look forward to ICAO granting us the necessary technical expertise and other forms of assistance required to reach that goal,” he stated.

Sealy also referred to the “unforeseen threats to aviation safety and security” that presented some of the region’s most challenging problems.  He added that it was therefore incumbent upon countries like ours, which depended on a vibrant tourism industry, “to be ready for every reasonably possible eventuality in order to maintain the highest levels of safety and security”. (BGIS)


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