Tourism minister calls for immediate dismissal of airport CEO

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Airport Authority CEO Stanley Smith

Tourism Minister Asot Michael is calling for the instantaneous dismissal of Airport Authority Chief Executive Officer Stanley Smith over the fumigation incident at the airport on Thursday afternoon.

Michael told Antigua News Room that Smith should be “fired forthwith” for his “irresponsible action” which resulted in the closure of the airport for about three hours.

“How do you fumigate the old airport during working hours?” Michael asked.

The tourism minister said the actions of the airport CEO costs airlines in excess of $3 million and resulted in a number of flights including American Airlines and British Airways being diverted to St. Kitts & Nevis.

“The man knows nothing about how to run an airport and I as the minister of tourism is calling for him to be fired immediately,” the minister told ANR.

Smith confirmed that the airport closed after “fumes from fumigation inside the old terminal, got into the cab of the tower, through the elevator shaft.”

Experts had to get rid of the fumes which can be dangerous to humans before the airport could resume operations.

With the tower being unable to function, flights could not land and take off.

Passengers were not allowed in the facility during the time of the cleanup and hundreds of them were delayed.

Smith said the airport opened at 3:47 p.m.

The Minister responsible for Civil Aviation is Sir Robin Yearwood who could not be reached for comment at the time of this publication.

Smith, a Jamaican, was hired in 2012 on a two-year contract which was renewed in 2015. When contacted for a comment he did not respond.

According to experts, inhaling those fumes usually has instant side-effects like coughing, nausea, vomiting, secretion of more saliva than usual, sweating, red eyes, itchy skin, laboured breathing and a running stomach.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. This is a storm in a teacup. Why should he be fired for the actions of a contractor who made an error? Seems like there is more in the mortar than in the pestle here. And why are Ministers calling for the sacking of public servants on the air? PM Browne called for the firing of Eswaorth Martin a few months ago regarding the Sembcorp/APUA matter. Smh

  2. All these young people going off to colle and those have been off in the last 20 years and have reputable jobs overseas. The government can’t find any locals to hold a post ??? Yet they bring in foreigners who probably can’t get hired in their own countries to be CEOs and directors. It’s a shame. The government should hold a job fair to try to get these young educated Antiguans from overseas and try to offer them the same big money and benefits as they do to all these people from all over the world. They maybe that would entice them to come back to Our island.
    Our island is in great need of rebranding from the inside out. Especially with all this CIP nonsense . Let’s try to attrack some young fresh, educated and cultured young born Antiguans back to our beautiful island and become a real powerhouse !!!

  3. I was om Virgin airways and we had to divert to Barbas and missed my connecting flight which cost me 950 US dollars and it was unrefundable ,,,,can I claim that back ???

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