With only a few months into 2020, more development and investment into the Nevis Air and Sea Port Authority (NASPA) is scheduled for this year, as such, a reflection on a fruitful 2019 is necessary for a positive and successful 2020.
Earlier this year, General Manager at the NASPA, highlighted some of the improvements made in 2019.
“2019 was a reasonably good one for the Nevis Air and Seaports Authority. Despite the various challenges encountered operationally and financially, we were able to make strides along the way and are hopeful and excited to bring more progress and success to our ports and operation in 2020 to better serve our public,” he said.
Mr. Brandy stated that at the Charlestown port, there has been an increase in local ferry operators which resulted in more persons travelling between the islands. He explained that 2019 saw an increase in numbers for cruise and yacht passengers compared to 2018.
“We are looking forward to a much-improved year as our cruise ships and yachts activity has been going well and the forecast for the rest of the season is highly favourable. The numbers for the entire season are much better than the previous one.
“NASPA has also put in place additional security and safety measures in Charlestown. This includes closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and a paid automated gate for vehicular traffic going on to the pier,” he said.
Oualie Water Taxi Facility
In May 2019, the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) completed the construction of a new water taxi facility at Oualie managed by NASPA. The facility has grown in demand and sees movement averaging 8,000 persons per month with about six water taxi operators throughout the day with over 15 boats in operation.
“Where the Oualie Water Taxi Facility is concerned, there are other aspects of the original design to be done and so we are hoping to see an improved look by the end of 2020. The administration building with offices for NASPA, Customs, Immigration, Port Health and water taxi operators is expected to be constructed this year. Boutiques and other outlets, including a restaurant or snackette are all part of the plan,” he said.
Mr. Brandy explained that the facility will also house a section to sell fuel to vessel operators.
“We are making preparations to sell fuel, both petrol and diesel starting later this year. This will be a welcome component of the facility as the boat operators have been asking for it. We would also be able to supply other vessels that are capable of coming alongside the dock,” he said.
Long Point Port
“The Long Point Port continues to be productive with very satisfactory returns on investment. The Christmas season of 2019 was extremely busy and certainly met expectations. We are also looking at a more long-term plan for the Long Point Port that will totally transform the facility and make a great difference for our economy,” he said.
Vance W. Amory International Airport
“Much has been done at our airport to enhance the facility and operation. We have refurbished the terminal building and improved some equipment including the weather system station. Cape Air has returned, and we expect that they will be around for a long time to come. The season has started well with executive jets and our AvGas and JetA fuel sales are on the rise again.
“There is a short to medium term plan in place for the airport that we believe will bring about a very noticeable positive change in activity,” he said.
Mr. Brandy used the opportunity to commend the staff at the authority for their hard work in 2019.
“I must state that, in all that we have accomplished during the years up to 2019, the employees have done a marvellous job. No less is expected of them in 2020 as they are eager to see continued progress at each of the ports. The users of the ports and the general public on a whole are important to us, whether it is getting their feedback or the delight we have in serving them. We look forward to doing it even better in 2020” he said.
The NASPA operates and manage the island’s air and seaports and one of its main objectives is to provide efficient facilities and services in supporting the island’s domestic and international trade. The Port Authority is responsible for three (3) active ports of entry, namely the Vance W. Amory International Airport, Charlestown Port, Oualie water Taxi Facility and the Long Point Port (main cargo port).