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The government is taking steps to tackle the problem of overcrowding at VC Bird International Airport.
The cabinet recently met with senior officers from the Chief Immigration Officer and the Airport Authority (ABAA) to address the issue of a large number of tourists arriving on weekends, which can result in as many as 1,000 people arriving within a two-hour period.
It was decided that all eight immigration booths would be fully staffed to reduce passenger wait times for clearance.
The immigration officers have emphasized the need to eliminate the handwritten entry cards and to replace them with electronic systems to expedite the process of clearing passengers.
Meanwhile, the ABAA officials have highlighted the need for additional resources to implement kiosks in the arrivals area, along with the necessary computer programs to enhance efficiency.
Minister of Tourism Charles Fernandez has also addressed these concerns at a recent conference hosted by the American Society for Travel Advisors (ASTA). He plans to have these kiosks operational by April in preparation for the upcoming SIDS conference scheduled for May.
In addition to these measures, the Cabinet has discussed the recruitment of additional immigration officers to address the challenges related to homeporting at Heritage Quay. To improve overall immigration services, these officers would be trained for three months and subsequently deployed to meet the demands of the seaport.
The proposed technological upgrades aim to modernize the airport’s operations and contribute to the overall efficiency of immigration services. These measures will not only improve the experience for tourists but also enhance the reputation of the airport, which is a crucial gateway to and from the country.