Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 28, 2020 (SKNIS): After months of closure due to COVID-19, the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw (RLB) International Airport will be ready for operations in time for October 31, said the Honourable Lindsay Grant, Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports.
RLB was retrofitted to facilitate the health and safety protocols established by the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Phase one of the work involved the retrofitting of the arrival area and the installation of sneeze guards throughout the airport, while phase two focused on retrofitting the departure area
On Tuesday, October 27, Members of Cabinet, the NEOC, Immigration and other key stakeholders toured the airport.
“We had the opportunity… to see first-hand what has been done at the RLB International Airport over the last several weeks to retrofit the airport that is satisfactory to the health officials and NEOC, said Minister Grant on the October 27 edition of ‘Leadership Matters’, a virtual forum on ZIZ TV. “I must say we were pleasantly surprised of the enormity of the works conducted over the last several days and I am advised that the RLB International Airport would be in a state of readiness for Saturday, October 31. And more importantly, to receive our International commercial carriers on November 07, 2020.”
Minister Grant said that “Saturday, October 31, will be a signalled moment in time for the Federation as our borders will be tested significantly.” He added, however, that they are “confident that things will go smoothly but is prepared for any eventuality.”
Equally important, he noted that citizens and residents were given adequate information on how to remain safe.
“We have over the several months been given advice through different media platforms about the necessity of ensuring physical distancing, of ensuring we make sure that we sanitize properly. And so, I believe that over the past several months, we have become accustomed to what is necessary to ensure our safety,” said the minister. “However, I must stress that come Saturday, we will be in an entirely different space and so our positions will be very well tested. But I am confident that given the learnings that we have had over the last several months, we would ensure that we keep safe.”
Minister Grant said that with the reopening things will be very different.
“As a destination, we have to differentiate ourselves from others. We have to ensure that our safety protocols are satisfied because if we don’t then we put ourselves in a position of contamination,” he said.
The tourism minister commended the National COVID-19 Task Force and other key stakeholders for working tirelessly in containing the spread of the virus and for getting St. Kitts and Nevis in a state of readiness to welcome back visitors.