Officials at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) yesterday reported a smooth Easter holiday weekend with 75,000 passengers moving through it over a five-day period.
Projected numbers for the period between April 18 and April 22 showed more than 75,000 passengers moving through LPIA’s three terminal buildings. Some 27,000 passengers were processed through the US departures pre-clearance facility, while Bahamas Immigration and Customs processed more than 30,000 arriving travellers over the Easter weekend.
Air Traffic Controllers reported just over 2,500 total aircraft movements (takeoffs and landings) during the same period.
Airport stakeholders executed newly-adopted Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) during the peak period, mitigating congestion in the terminal and airside. Dionisio D’Aguilar, minister of tourism and aviation, credited this co-ordinated effort by key airport agencies for LPIA’s high levels of operational efficiency over Easter.
“We have been working diligently with primary stakeholders to ensure that the increased traffic being experienced at the airport is met with an effective plan to manage higher passenger numbers and aircraft movement at LPIA,” Mr D’Aguilar said.
“My ministry will continue to work directly with our partners at the airport to ensure that LPIA is equipped and prepared to meet new demands in air arrivals to the destination. I’m proud to say that over the Easter holiday weekend all of the agencies worked together towards the common goal of providing a high level of service to persons arriving and departing from LPIA.”
In February, passenger numbers were up 21.9 percent year-over-year, with March’s increase standing at 13 percent. Vernice Walkine, Nassau Airport Development Company’s (NAD) president and chief executive, praised LPIA stakeholders for adjustments made to accommodate the significant increase in passenger numbers.
“Overall, we are quite pleased with how well the Easter holiday weekend went from an operational standpoint,” she said. “We saw improvements in efficiency - both in terminal and on the airside.
“There were a few incidents that were quickly mitigated, demonstrating further that all stakeholders at LPIA have indeed developed strategies and contingency protocols to ensure operations run smoothly even with strong passenger numbers.”
Ms Walkine added: “On the airside, the weekend saw a significant increase in aircraft movement, particularly on the Thursday before and the Monday after Easter. Even with the increased traffic on the airside, there were no significant delays or congestion issues. This demonstrates our capacity to handle heavy traffic on the tarmac.”
Over the Easter holiday weekend, LPIA’s operations plan focused on processing areas including pre-board screening in the US departures terminal and the international/domestic departures terminal. Agencies also paid close attention to staffing levels as well as queue management in US Customs and Border Protection, Bahamas Immigration and Bahamas Customs.
During the peak periods between 12pm to 3pm, Bahamas Immigration processed large families with young children and senior citizens on separate lines to keep wait times in the hall at a minimum. NAD deployed line management agents (LMAs) to provide support and manage passenger flow in the US departures terminal check-in hall.
LPIA stakeholders include Bahamas Immigration, Bahamas Customs, the Airport Authority, US Customs & Border Protection (USCBP), Nassau Flight Services (NFS), Air Traffic Services (ATS), airline operators, Nassau Airport Development Company’s operations and parking and ground transportation teams, airport police and the Road Traffic Department.