Bahamas Doesn’t Need US Pre-Clearance
Ladies and Gentleman, just when you thought it was safe to travel again we have been hit with long lines in the US Customs hall at Lynden Pindling International Airport resulting in flight delays and persons missing flights once again.
With all the talk and meetings that resulted from the disaster imposed on The Bahamas by US Customs this summer today (November 21, 2012) made it quite obvious that everything has fallen on deaf ears.
Tourism is our bread and butter in this country and the government of the day has the responsibility to protect it. My question is, how long are we going to sit idly and allow US Customs to destroy our country?
These people take instructions from no one, but they can only do what the government allows them to do.
They are here to do a job and right now they are failing and if something is not done to correct this situation we are going in be in big trouble. I am not sure whether the powers that be realise how serious this thing is.
Airlines should be top of the list at all times because they are the reason why you need an airport, the pre-cleared facility, the stores in the airport, the hotels, the tour companies, the taxi drivers, the restaurants and the list can go on.
I work at the airport and you can take it from me, airlines are up to their necks with what has taken place in this airport in the past few months and now we are going to allow them to experience what they did this summer with delays and having to leave hundreds of passengers due to an inefficient US Customs?
To add insult to injury, delegations from various airlines flew into Nassau on two occasions this year to meet with the Minister of Transport and on both occasions the Minister did not make it to the meetings. These were meetings with appointments and not walk-ins.
What do you think is going through the heads of airline executives at this time?
Right now so many jobs are on the line because the airlines are not going to continue flying into a country that does not have the ability to make timely decisions. The stress inflicted on airlines this summer by US Customs cannot be allowed to happen in this upcoming busy Thanksgiving and Christmas season because if it does, this would be the final nail in the coffin of tourism.
This is our country and we should be calling the shots. It is a very simple matter. Either we demand that US Customs do what they were sent here to do or let’s do what the other Caribbean countries are doing with great success!
Have all flights cleared in the United States and that way, when they fall short our tourists can put the blame where it rightfully belongs, on their soil.
Like the old saying go, “If you can’t handle the heat in the kitchen, get out!”
We can boast about the thousands of jobs that Baha Mar will bring to this economy, but the one thing we must remember, it is the airlines that will determine whether that project will be a success. Nip this thing in the bud before it is too late!
A word from the wise.
Nassau, The Bahamas