The Director of Airports and the Chief Executive Officer of Argyle International Airport Inc. are very concerned about the erroneous information being circulated in the local media that the United States Transport Security Administration (TSA) has failed St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in its recent inspection.
Director of Airports, Mrs. Corsel Robertson and Chief Executive Officer of Argyle International Airport Inc. Mr. Hadley Bourne said in a joint release that “These statements are false and totally irresponsible.”
The officials noted that during the period, March 7- 9, 2017, the TSA carried out an inspection of the Argyle International Airport primarily to ‘determine the airport security posture at the Argyle International Airport’.
This inspection was previously requested for the E.T. Joshua Airport in late 2016, but in view of the planned closure of this facility and the closeness of the opening of the Argyle International Airport, it was suggested that the inspection be carried out at Argyle International Airport following its opening instead.
According to the release, the inspectors looked at the measures which are in place and assessed them against their requirements so that St. Vincent and the Grenadines can make modifications and/or adjustments in its preparation for direct flights to the US.
It must be stated that the TSA is not a regulator of SVG and they do not pass or fail any country. Our relationship is one of collaboration and TSA’s role is to assist in facilitating the implementation of their border security requirements.
Following the inspection a debriefing was held, which was deemed quite positive and SVG was complimented on several areas of the airport layout, facilities, equipment and practices.
It is expected that a full report would be sent to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security within 30 to 45 days; however, a preliminary report is also expected in the near future.
The Director of Airports and the Chief Executive Officer of the Argyle International Airport Inc wish to reiterate that the report being circulated is not from any TSA report sent to SVG as this is still pending.
The public is once again strongly advised to disregard the information circulated by some local media as false and incorrect as the TSA does not issue a pass or failure upon their inspection of any airport, and therefore none was issued for SVG.