Daily Archives: May 23, 2009

Contaminated Fuel At Barbados Airport – Adrian Loveridge Talks About Contingency Planning

A Bad Day At Grantley Adams International Airport

Barbados Airport JetCan we really learn some lessons from the events of the 22 May?

We had over 40 persons to meet of three different flights that day.

ZM drivers had been arranged to meet then based on scheduled and quoted arrival flight times.

Close to the original arrive times it became obvious that there were going to be delays, so the sensible thing to do was to first check with the airline.

One major carrier hadn’t even changed its local recorded flight arrival announcement since 9am that morning, despite the aircraft being diverted to St. Lucia and eventually landing at 4pm.  On checking its website, the announcement stated that both the inbound and outbound flights were canceled.

Another airline had not updated its recorded announcement since 11am that morning, again relating to a flight that should have landed at 9.50pm but finally arrived at nearly 2am the following morning.

Yes! We eventually extracted that it was a problem with fuel, but this should have not taken anyone here by surprise. Where does our A1 aviation fuel come from, and who had been having the problem with contaminated fuel for days?

Trinidad of course!

Also knowing the vast amounts of taxpayers monies invested in the various pipelines from Oistins and massive storage facilities at the airport, did we really not have two or three days supply of non-contaminated fuel?

I cannot understand why airlines the size and reputation of some of the carriers that service Barbados, seemingly do not relate that it may be one of their relatives, an ageing grandmother, wife, child or distance friend that could be on that flight.

Just for a moment, try and imagine the worry and concern of friends and relatives meeting those flights, let alone the huge loss in productivity and expenses related to the delays.

For the sake of a Manager taking the responsible of ensuring simply basic communications to the people that actually pay your salary, it reminds us that we are still a long way from making ‘tourism our business’.

Grantley Adams International is now one, if not the most expensive airport to use throughout the Caribbean, extracting over $90 million in departure taxes each year alone.

If the individual airlines are unwilling to play their part in ensuring their customers are kept informed on a timely basis, then perhaps GAIC should step up to the plate.

Adrian Loveridge

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