Our Readers' Opinions
August 16, 2016
Too many security concerns at ET Joshua Airport

Editor: The traffic department of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) is the department that the public feel very close to. This department has physical responsibility for the security aspect at the ET Joshua Airport; the department is headed by Superintendent Kenneth John.{{more}}

Security at airports is a very serious responsibility, but sometimes I wonder if Superintendent John understands the importance of his department in maintaining law and order at the ET Joshua airport. The airport opens at approximately 4:30 a.m. daily; most of the time there is no police officer present when the airport opens, so persons are allowed to park and do anything they feel like.

As one who works at the airport, I try to assist the police with information, but I’m being told by some officers “we don’t need your help.”

Should this be? Imagine this department needs the public to gain information, but yet they are saying no to information just because it is coming from me! I think that is very unprofessional.

When I ask police officers who are stationed at the airport why they lack commitment in doing their job, their response is: that they do not receive enough support from the director Ms Best. Does this mean that there is a breakdown in communication between Ms Best and Mr Kenneth John?

There is much needed improvement by the police officers who are stationed at the airport, the majority of whom show no commitment and lack discipline when doing their jobs. In my opinion, only a few of these officers actually do their jobs with diligence and show commitment. Corporal Jones, Corporal Williams and Constable Shawn Williams are examples of officers who show commitment. I’m appalled that so few officers show commitment.

I try my very best to help in any way I possibly can. Can you imagine I tried to assist someone who has a vehicle and has a disability, but I was told by the director that is not my responsibility. I was only trying to help because of the lack of assistance given by the officer on duty. I am hoping that when the international airport opens I would see some improvement from the police officers who should maintain law and order at the airport.

Another aspect that needs to show improvement at the airport is the cleaning personnel; these are persons responsible for keeping the airport pleasant. There is supposed to be a person who works during each shift, yet only four turn up at times and majority of the time, the four are late. Should this be accepted?

Some may say it’s not an issue, but it truly is; it can affect the arrivals of flights to some extent. In order for the airport to be functional, it must be cleaned; but I guess that’s just my humble opinion.

Another aspect of security that needs much improvement is the personnel called caretakers/ watchmen; their shifts are from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m; 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and at times two work the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. These caretakers/watchmen lack commitment when doing their job. There are only two dedicated and committed ones who do their job with diligence, these two are Mr Henry and Mr Cato — they must be commended. I wish that could be said about the other caretakers/watchmen. One of the caretakers/ watchmen appears to always be under the influence of alcohol while on the job; another one spends his time at Vee-Jays bar, instead of being on the compound; another spends more time sleeping than working.

There should be some level of professionalism shown at an airport, I truly think that having traffic wardens on duty at the airport is unprofessional, as they don’t have enough training and that should be stopped.

Another security risk is the parking spaces provided to workers by the director; these parking areas should be removed. They are extremely close to the terminal building and if what is being said about security risks is true, then they should be removed immediately. I have travelled to a few countries and I have never seen persons allowed to park so close to the terminal building. Madam Editor, while I’m coming to an end, I would like to know why do customs guards think they should be rewarded for helping persons? It’s very distasteful and should be stopped. I’m truly hoping to see some change to these aspects at the ET Joshua Airport. It will benefit us all; I gone!!

Kingsley De Freitas