Airport manager outlines initiatives

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Smoking, a chronic lack of taxis, a new gateway city and the need for wheelchair accessibility at the Bermuda International Airport were all addressed by Airport Operations General Manager James Howes when he spoke to Hamilton Rotarians yesterday at their weekly luncheon.


Smoking, a chronic lack of taxis, a new gateway city and the need for wheelchair accessibility at the Bermuda International Airport were all addressed by Airport Operations General Manager James Howes when he spoke to Hamilton Rotarians yesterday at their weekly luncheon.

"We are conscious of the needs of airport passengers," Mr. Howes said, after introducing himself as "the guy who threw the $35,000 party".

He outlined various initiatives which his department was undertaking, one of which was making the airport smoke-free on September 1.

The move comes a week after Advocates for Non-Smoking said it was time tough laws were introduced on the Island. The group said it would begin to lobby MPs to ban smoking in all places that people gather.

Turning to taxis, Mr. Howes said there had been a chronic shortage of taxis at the airport this summer and pointed to 1.45 p.m. on Monday as being the most recent time there were none at the airport.

"This cannot continue," he said, adding that the department had met with limousine companies Bermuda Host and Beeline Transportation regarding expanding transportation services to and from the airport.

He said his aim was for passengers to be able to purchase transportation tickets on the spot, as opposed to paying for vouchers in advance as they have in the past.

"We don't want any passengers to have any delays," Mr. Howes said.

Noting that the department was always looking for links to new gateway cities, Mr. Howes speculated that a direct flight to Miami could be added as soon as next year.

"We are meeting with airlines on the corporate level on how to attract more tourists," he said.

And with the aim of making wheelchair-bound passengers as comfortable as possible, Mr. Howes said the airport was hoping to purchase a motorised transporter because "the days of carrying people up the stairs are gone", he said.

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