OECS Aviation Authorities Uninformed


by Makeda Mikael

Travel within the OECS and beyond is a total mess! Aghast at the hastened kill LIAT approach by their Southern neighbors, the islands where LIAT originated include St.Kitts, birthplace of Sir Frank Delisle, Montserrat, where Delisle lived when he established LIAT, and Antigua where LIAT established itself as the Caribbean Airline.

In recent times in order to travel to some Caribbean islands it is necessary to travel to the US, or Canada, and in the case of Cuban students travel via Madrid and London have also been stopovers on their long route home.

Further instead of regional carriers feeding from International Carriers, our uneducated aviation decision makers are giving away our routes to the very carriers whom we already have subsidized to come to our islands.

This brings into considering whether it makes sense for Ministers of Government to be making decisions in a sophisticated industry like aviation, which for the most part is owned by the wealthy world, circumscribed by rules and regulations which poor countries are compromised by their circumstances, political and otherwise.

Aviation, like most consumables in our region is imported, and our only contribution is consumption.

The time for education and localization of our learning is an imperative.

Our education must be now geared to our islands’ needs in other areas than managing and accounting of our imports, but in-the-field and hands-on education, where our youth leave school with skills, which allow them to help pay for their higher education in universities with working campus sessions.

The world is changing and education for our own development must be the platform from which our universities must deliver.

Our separate island communities will always require transportation, and air travel will be a constant need, however, if the regional bodies of Caricom and OECS have been unable to resolve the issue because of infighting at the leadership level, and recognition of their ignorance of the aviation industry, we must educate them in order to move forward.

Maybe the time has come for the non-political entities which we have grown in our region, to offer help in these unbiased areas of development: like UWI coming on board with conscious private sector entities and helping by grounding our education into local development.

The Leeward Islands, Antigua and Nevis in particular, as their roles defined in the Mid-Atlantic Triangular Slave Trade, offer the best logistics for a Caribbean Aviation Campus, and should be the consideration of the University of the West Indies, Antigua Five Islands Campus.

We all know how education rubs off in homes and on the job, and no less within the halls of Government and becomes ultimately a philosophy, and hopefully a culture of education, even as UWI has developed in prior Caribbean locations.

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  1. @ Sidelines: You have come a long way.In that you are complimenting Makeda. Did you have too much Red Wine to drink?

  2. @ From the Sidelines
    After 40 years of feeding at the corrupt troughs, the writer complains because her gravy train is coming to an end.
    All these years she weren’t aware that the OECS authorities were uneducated and uninformed.

    The uneducated for the most part comes out of UWI, which is among the institutions failing the Caribbean people.
    I will agree the Ministers of Government should not be making the decisions about Aviation as well as many of the important aspects of line in the OECS countries.
    CARICOM just celebrated its 50th anniversary and what did we learn other than Gaston Browne met with a former Senator from Connecticut? What ever happened to the American Embassy coming to Antigua?
    It may seem like an irrelevant question but it’s illustrative of the junk we are fed day in day out.
    The only thing LIAT has left is brand recognition; and that to us being squandered.
    Soon it will be the beaches along with the dirty man-made environment
    that goes the way of LIAT.
    Message to the writer.
    Take a survey and ask any 25 to 30 year olds to tell you what they understand about the middle passage.
    Before you publish the results ask a cohort of UWI graduates under 40 years old with wigs and breads to explain the middle passage.

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