The public is invited to provide feedback on the draft Air and Sea Access & Connectivity Strategy for Montserrat.
The document which can be read in its entirety here was produced by Aquila Aviation, Ltd, registered in the United Kingdom, according to information found online.
The preliminary findings according to the draft is that “the existing capacity –sea and air –is adequate, from a narrow commercial perspective, to meet demand for the foreseeable future.”
It also said a “replacement contract for the Jaden Sun is an early imperative; tendering for a multi-year contract is expected to provide better options for vessel choice, leading to lower costs. The lower costs of the sea contract will allow a re-allocation of the financial support which will, in turn permit the underwriting of a longer term solution to air access, based on a larger, more modern aircraft, within the constraints of operations at Montserrat Airport (MNI).”
The draft also said improved connectivity and increased marketing would “improve access to the island, generating greater income for tourism providers on the island and a more comprehensive network for access to the wider region and long-haul points of origin in Europe and North America.”
Both sea and air access receive financial support from the Government of Montserrat (GOM), as part of grant-in-aid funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The financial support currently comprises XCD 5.4 million (US$ 2.0 million) for the ferry service and XCD 432,000 (US$ 160,000) for the air service, split equally between FlyMontserrat and SVG Air
The Access Division is accepting comments until April 15 via email email@example.com or at Access Division, Office
of the Premier, Government Headquarters.