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Air Transportation, ECSC budget on OECS Summit agenda

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Heads of Government from across the OECS countries are entering day-two of the   72nd Meeting of the OECS Authority in Little Bay, Montserrat.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne is leading the country’s delegation at the meeting which will consider a number of matters critical to the development of the sub-region.

On day-one of the meeting on Wednesday, the gathering considered regional air travel which has become a vexing region-wide issue following the near collapse of LIAT 1974 Ltd. in 2021.

The Gaston Browne-led administration has moved to revive the airline until a more comprehensive plan is put in place to recapitalise the airline and revamp its operating schedule.

LIAT currently operates a reduced schedule and this has led to significant frustration among travelers who face many hurdles when trying to arrange intra-regional transportation.

This has led several Caribbean leaders to express the need to reestablish reliable airline service in the sub-region.

Many have now warmed to the idea of the revival of a new LIAT 2020 Ltd., a proposal that has been floated by Prime Minister Browne.

Other items on the agenda on day-one of the meeting included the 2022/23 Budget for the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court which was presented by Chief Justice Dame Janice Perriera, the St. Maarten’s bid for full membership in the organisation, a status update on the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority’s efforts to return to Category 1 status and the aftermath of the recent political crisis in the British Virgin Islands.

Today’s session will see discussions on a number of reports, including those from the conference of health ministers and the conference of the education ministers.

Prime Minister Browne is expected back in St. John’s later today.

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