Director of Tourism, Colin Piper, is reporting great benefits to Dominica from discussions held at the first Caribbean Aviation Meetup conference hosted in Dominica earlier this month.
From June 13th to 16th, the Government of Dominica through the Ministry of Tourism and the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) hosted the three-day regional conference which drew regional and international speakers and guests as well as representatives of the International Monetary Fund, (IMF) the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Tourism Association (CTA).
The intention was to bring likeminded people to discuss matters of aviation with a view to strategizing better air access to the region.
Piper says discussion surrounded the use of private jets, training in the industry, and route rights.
The Tourism Director says Dominica was able to grasp some concepts from the conference, especially the use of the Canefield airport to increase commercial activity in Roseau.
“The benefit to Dominica was that in a number of the examples, Dominica would have been utilized and so we got some ideas. At the end of it Dominica Air and Seaport Authority (DASPA) is taking the lead on what was proposed for Canfield because that was a specific study that I can say that all the experts that went to Canefield [airport] realize the importance of Canefield and felt that if there was more commercial activity that it would all go well for the destination because of its proximity to Roseau and in particular the business people.
So I am sure that is something DASPA will take on board. There were suggestions about really trying to get the OECS and CARICOM to look at the tax structure, for pricing as we mention there were discussion about Canefield and Winair featured at the conference because they took the opportunity to reannounce their interline agreement with British Airways that would facilitate flight coming from Antigua.” Piper said.
He says the conference also brought exposure to the island as a destination that it is serious about solving aviation challenges.
Piper says the dialogue about easier air access to Dominica will continue.
“The business of aviation plans in two and three year cycles, so even if we come up with as great idea to chat with the people and get all the details and get all the certification and the approvals it is going to take some time. This is something we have been working on since the last conference in 2012 and we have been continuously working on things. What you see happening now is as a result of work happening on the ground and we will use this input to continue to improve the process of air access into Dominica.”