The Adrian Loveridge Column – Stalled @GAIA

I frequently wonder if those who guide our tourism industry really understand the basics which make it work, at all. Arriving on schedule at 9.45 pm the American Airlines flight last Monday, we dutifully filed off the plane and took our place in the queue for immigration.

The flight was close to full, so on a B737 Max 8, this amounted to around 172 passengers plus crew. Just after 10 pm, one or more immigration officers simply left their post and went off duty, leaving a skeleton staff to process the remaining 50 per cent or so off this flight.

This flight was not a one-off charter, but a scheduled service, where all involved know that it is going to arrive daily at close to the advertised time.

When my turn eventually came, I respectfully asked the immigration officer if there had been a shift change at 10 pm and she stated yes, adding that at least some of those finishing their term duty had to get a bus.

Not at all unreasonable in my humble opinion given the knowledge that if you miss one bus there may not necessarily be a later option to ensure they get home. But surely this is a critical consideration for management, who have to ensure the ‘system’ works, given the available resources?

With the hundred or so remaining passengers still waiting to clear immigration there is plenty of time to gaze in wonderment at the rows of still idle Automated Passport Kiosks. The actual cost of installing and possibly maintaining these machines still remains a mystery to the taxpayer and we cannot blame the current administration. However, the decision to purchase or lease them and the subsequent dismal failure to ensure they are fully operational must be somebodies responsibility.

Nearly four months ago the current Minister of Tourism was quoted in the media as stating ‘the effect as I understand it is that there should be an 88 per cent faster throughput in the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA), once this is implemented, than there is at present’.

A very impressive improvement in anyone’s estimation should this prediction, become a working reality.

Another factor, often ignored, is that the majority of our visitors do not live on the doorsteps of the airports which service us.

In my case last week, I left a sleepy Essex village at 5 am with three changes of train and underground, involving nearly 40 station stops to first reach Heathrow. Then a ten hour flight to Miami followed by the much improved passenger processing through US immigration and customs, before another 4 hour flight to reach Barbados, So nearly 24 hours before deplaning at GAIA.

While this may not be typical for many of our visitors, the vast majority have substantial pre-airport travelling and the last thing they want to endure, especially at night, is to be further delayed at immigration, baggage claim and customs checks.

It already seems to take an extraordinary amount of time to retrieve arriving checked baggage and with the ongoing closure of the customs Green Channel – ‘Nothing to Declare’ option, our cherished guests are being subjected to further delays.

Let us hope that these long running challenges will be fully remedied before the upcoming peak winter season, especially in light of announced increased airlift.

Otherwise even the most patient visitors may be tempted with their feet and perhaps next time, choose an alternative less hassle destination.

109 comments

  • RE Imagine plucking Selma Husbands out of reading her weather news and placing her as Deputy Permanent Secretary.

    THEN YOU TALK OF “Men like Sam Headley ,…………..– yet you had to guess as to whether these men supported the Bee or Dee.

    YOU APPARENTLY DO NOT KNOW THAT SAM HEADLEY WAS PLUCKED FROM TEACHING AT HC BY MR BARROW AND THAT HE WAS A STRONG DEE FROM ST JOHN!

    OF COURSE MR HEADLEY’S LEADERSHIP ABILITIES WERE HERALDED FROM HIS DAYS AT THE LODGE SCHOOL…THOUGH NOT NECESSARILY KNOWN TO THE PUBLIC AT LARGE.

    WHEREAS SELMA IS WELL KNOWN FOR THE MINUTES SHE PRESENTED THE WEATHER NEWS, OVER THE YEARS……..HER OTHER ABILITIES AND FUNCTIONS ARE SIMILILARLY NOT NECESSARILY KNOWN TO THE PUBLIC AT LARGE.

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  • Sam Headley originated out of St John – and many suspected he was a Dem – but I have heard of instances where he earned the ire of the great skipper Barrow – because he butted heads with him on policies – and no one can truthfully say he operated as a dem – or that he did not maintain the traditions of the Service.

    Sam Headley was brought to prominence from his young days at Lodge when he was selected as the head boy – the first black to do so.He was a stubborn old timer – but like him or hate him – no one questioned his competence during his stint in the service.

    That is not the reports coming out with Sema’s promotion.

    Same can be said of C.E.Edwards who some suspected of being a BEE but was a top class civil servant.

    There are many more former P.S. that can be named but those two were the ones that came to mind at this time.

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @T.Inniss October 24, 2018 6:44 AM
    “All that BLP fool Artax did was go on the website and list all the grand sounding things the CEO of YES is supposed to do.

    Selma husbands/Greene has no SIGNIFICANT achievements to show of in that position at YES and the BLP Yardfowl Artax CANNOT POINT TO THE TANGIBLE DIFFERENCE SPENDING THAT MONEY TO PAY HER A SALARY OF CEO – MADE TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF BARBADOS.

    Don’t study the puffed up windbag – he just drunk on the kool Aid and like to come on BU always pompasetting how he is not a BEE – yet always exposing he BLP UNDERWEAR.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Isn’t this a classic case of a ‘yellow’ pot marked “D” calling a ‘red’ kettle branded “B” “black”?

    So if Artax has been a “Bee” all along, how should the BU old stagers label you then?

    A yellow-belly johnny-come-lately who has just out of the ‘blue’ jump on the bandwagon of permanent criticism of the current ‘red’ administration?

    Where were you prior to May24th when the former band of incompetents including their cowardly public sector managers who prostituted themselves by becoming aiders and abettors in financial crimes against the people which have led to the current dire state of fiscal and financial affairs?

    Where was your loud-mouth when $300 million of foreign reserves just went missing just after the 2013 general elections and neither the now overly-garrulous Guv nor the MoF could find out which window the money went out as smoke while Greenverbs parked his unlaundered lucre in the same bank for a good cleaning?

    Why not do like ac aka Maripokey, or even Fractured BLP, and stop the BU family from ‘assuming’ by raising upfront and centre your yellow flag of partisan political opposition in the air so that none would have any doubt about which choir you have been singing in and which party you have been jumping in all your political life.

    We will respect you for that volte-face of honesty since the present administration needs every arrow of criticism in its backside to keep it on the ‘straight and narrow’ given the 30 to zero red wash.

    A piece of ‘genuine’ advice from your friendly miller neither “B”, “D” or “SB”; ha-ha, ha ha, hum!!!!!

    “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

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  • The point to consider is the continued practice of promoting friends and political supporters beyond their competence especially at this time when it is critical for the country to adopt a new way of doing things – by ensuring the most efficient and best suited persons and plans – despite perceived political affiliation – are the ones selected.

    Money is scarce,time is limited – and genuine leadership is needed.

    I am not yet seeing the things happening which suggest the seriousness at hand has gotten through.

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  • Reading Bishop Artherley in Bdos Today – he is making some good points.

    With Mia Mottley every thing is about staging this picture of ‘She Got This’ .So she rushes off and called Christine Legarde the day after elections – and what did she get in the end an insufficient amount of money that can help in turning Bdos around – that is 220 % of the quota to be paid over 4 years – instead of the 350 % of the quota which is normally given over 3 years.

    Then as Bishop Artherley stated – this rush to go before the cameras and say we have this or that in place has resulted in major foul ups ;whether it is

    1) the abolition of the road tax and replacing it with the Gas Tax – and the about face that had to be made about redunding etc

    2) The claim that students effective the new term will get their Tuition paid – only to be told by the Ministry of Education and UWI – THAT NO SUCH THING HAD BEEN PUT IN PLACE

    3) The rush to appoint Rawdon Adams and Kay Mcconey as Senators – only to realise they don’t confom to the constitutional provision as it relates to residency requirements – therefore again MIA HAD TO RUSH TO CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION TO FIX THAT

    4) The rush to implement the sewage tax on the water bill even before the independent and opposition senators had been given time to read it properly

    5) the haste to DEFAULT ON THE DEBT – AND THE RUSH TO CHANGE THE TERMS OF THE INVESTMENT TO THOSE RETIEES AND PENSIONERS WHO INVESTED IN GOVT PAPER.

    I keep saying it – and this is made more evident – day by day – that Mia does not know have a clue what she is doing or what should really be done.

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  • (1). “All that BLP fool Artax did was go on the website and list all the grand sounding things the CEO of YES is supposed to do.”

    I did not get my information from YES’ website.

    But it is clearly evident “All the DLP fool T. Inniss did was to go on a website and list all the grand sounding things a PS is supposed to do.”

    (2). “Selma husbands/Greene has no SIGNIFICANT achievements to show of in that position at YES and the BLP Yardfowl Artax CANNOT POINT TO THE TANGIBLE DIFFERENCE SPENDING THAT MONEY TO PAY HER A SALARY OF CEO – MADE TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF BARBADOS.”

    And likewise, the DLP Yardfowl T. Inniss CANNOT POINT TO anything contrary.

    (3). “Don’t study the puffed up windbag – he just drunk on the kool Aid and like to come on BU always pompasetting how he is not a BEE – yet always exposing he BLP UNDERWEAR.”

    Similar could be said about you being “ a puffed up wind bag drunk on the on the DLP kool Aid and like to come on BU always pompasetting how you are not a DEE – yet always EXPOSING your DLP UNDERWEAR.”

    Whereas you are QUICK to criticize the current administration, while jumping to defend the former inept DLP administration……I CHALLENGE you to present any phrase or statement in any of my contribution that suggests I defend the BLP.

    (4). “In the matter of a few days he with his imaginary brilliance – has accused about 4 bloggers here of being fools – ‘Dishonest Bajan, Mariposa, Hal Austin, T.Inniss and if I had the time to waste and scroll through his posts – I am sure you would find many more.”

    Present the evidence to this forum where in any of my contributions I referred to the aforementioned individuals as “fools.” (Well, not you…..we all know you’re a fool)

    Although, according to you, my brilliance is imaginary…….it far surpasses your level.

    (5). “I usually ignore him because he is what he is and he can’t change and I have low tolerance for fools.However I couldn’t let this nonsense he spouted go unchallenged.”

    It’s a good thing you don’t read my contributions.

    (6). “I will not spend my time in no back and forth with no BLP Operatives on this site.”

    But you will spend time writing shiite, which is obviously dictated to you by someone in George Street.

    You DLP yard-fowls are weak and you would never take up a challenge.

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  • Again to show how lacking in basic common sense – these ad hoc lay – offs seem to be ;

    We have the head the President of CTUSAB – Edwin O’neale – himself a former police officer – who is pointing out that this Govt has proposed sending home some of the clerical staff in the police service – thus putting pressure on the already stretched police officers to take on these civilian,clerical duties.

    Commisioner Griffith has already told us that he is 248 police officers short .

    Even Mia ‘ I Got This’ Mottley had to admit they bungle this lay off process by sending home persons with over 10 and 12 years service – and had to recall them back to work.

    She also admitted that many public workers were sent home without their financial package on the day they were sent home – as had been stated by her ( and is constantly being repeated by Dr Wodroffe )

    Mia was preparing to be the FIRST FEMALE PRIME MINISTER – SHE WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT PREPARING HOW TO NAVIGATE THIS FINANCIAL CRISIS – A SITUATION SHE WAS AWARE OF AND HAS BEEN PONTIFICATING ON SINCE 2008.

    Can we imagine how she would have had Barbados in an uproar if the last administration had fouled up and bungled up like this ?

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  • A permanent secretary in a government department does not have to be a specialist officer/technician – that is the role of the technocrats. But it is important that the PS has an understanding of the department and its specialist requirements. The same way that a prime minister does not have to be able to do everything in government, but s/he must be able to manage.
    In a transparent society, based on merit, ALL public sector jobs should be advertised. I remember a few years ago a young woman at a UK university was offered a public sector job within weeks of graduating. She had no experience. She was subsequently replaced with someone who was about to graduate from a US university.
    It is this corruption lite that is a fundamental part of Barbadian culture – getting jobs for the sons and daughters of friends and friends of friends and mistaking qualifications with knowledge, expertise and expertise. A qualification is just the beginning of a career, not the end of learning.
    A bigger question is: how can we be making such appointments when we are getting rid of people? Positions are made redundant, not people; who did the government consult before making positions redundant?
    Barbados has drifted from an incompetent semi-democratic stat to an autocracy. Barbados is a failed state..

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  • Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced on Friday that her administration would be creating a “level playing field” across the industry, allowing hoteliers to access the concessions the same way in which Sandals was accessing them.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2018/10/26/level-up/

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