| Passengers using the Grantley
Adams International Airport in Barbados today had
their first taste of hassle-free travel as the
Caribbean prepares to welcome guests to the Cricket
World Cup 2007 tournament.
Just around 7:30 a.m. passengers travelling on a
LIAT flight to St Lucia and Martinique from Barbados
were the first to benefit from the new arrangements.
In an interview with personnel from the Media
Centre at Warren’s, St Michael , Barbados, LIAT’s
Sales and Services Manager, Oliver Haywood, welcomed
the new arrangements and said so far the process
went ahead without any hitches. “The first process
that was observed and adhered to was the fact that
the ticket taxes were on the tickets, eliminating
the practice of passengers looking for departure tax
at the counters. All we had to do was to ensure that
their immigration cards were already completed.
There were no money transactions at the counter.
This assisted the processing of passengers," the
LIAT official explained.
Haywood pointed out that once the passenger
arrived at the Immigration Department Desk, they
were then provided with a wrist band for movement
within the Single Domestic Space. He noted that the
wrist bands afforded the passengers travelling in
the Caribbean hassle-free travel. “The concept is
that when you arrive in St Vincent, St Lucia or
Trinidad and Tobago you would go to an area
designated for the domestic space where you would
not have to produce your passport or any documents.
You will be identified by the wrist band."
It has been suggested that passengers should
still travel with their passports because a random
check could be carried out, Haywood further
He pointed out that another innovation today was
the introduction of the Advance Passenger
Information (API) which was expected to be forwarded
to the destination of the airline 15 minutes after
According to Haywood, security personnel were
expected to vet the passengers and where necessary
take appropriate action.
Meanwhile, acting Assistant Chief Immigration
Officer, Rodney Farrell, also acknowledged that with
the introduction of the new process there was a
quicker flow of passengers through the airport.
Speaking to personnel from the Media Centre the
senior government official said: “So far this
morning operations have moved quite smoothly. As you
may be aware the first day of any new operation
there would be one or two hiccups, but so far I
would say that things have run very smoothly.”
Outlining the new process, Farrell gave
passengers the assurance that once the immigration
cards were filled out correctly and the wrists bands
were in place, those passengers would be allowed
entry as quickly as possible. He stressed that no
entries would be made on the passport and no queries
would be made on the length of their stay.
In an interview with the Media Centre, a CARICOM
official pointed out that in the Single Domestic
Space, passport vetting will be carried out if there
were challenging issues such as power cuts,
telecommunications problems or technical glitches.
Stressing that security was uppermost in the minds
of CARICOM officials, the official said the Region
was not prepared to compromise the security of
nationals and visitors alike.
“It is anticipated that that within the first
three weeks of the establishment of the Single
Domestic Space, any technical challenges will be met
in time for the influx of fans, teams, media
personnel, and sponsors for the 3rd largest global
sporting event,” the official said.
Contact: Ms. Rose Blenman