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Home | March 2014 Please tell us what you think of this article. Tell a friend Print Friendly

S.Atlantic : Disappointment expressed with earlier Airbridge departure times
Submitted by SARTMA.com (Juanita Brock) 31.03.2014 (Article Archived on 05.05.2014)

The decision by the Ministry of Defence to implement earlier departure times for northbound Airbridge flights has been criticised for the lack of consideration for users of the service.

Disappointment expressed with earlier Airbridge departure times

The decision by the Ministry of Defence to implement earlier departure times for northbound Airbridge flights has been criticised for the lack of consideration for users of the service.

It was announced this week that from Monday the 31st March 2014 the check-in timings for the twice weekly departure of the Airbridge flight will be one hour earlier than they are currently. Civilian passengers will now have to check in between 5.30 and 6.30am with the Airbridge departure times also being made earlier.

The effect of the time change will mean that drivers and vehicles will be on the MPA Road earlier for the Airbridge flight in winter. Passengers travelling to MPA in the early hours, particularly if there are snowy or icy conditions, will be exposed to greater risk than they already are.

It is felt that the decision will further compound the change to permanent summer time during winter which has already taken travel an hour into the coldest and darkest part of winter, placing greater emphasis on the current level of safety measures on the MPA Road.

On top of the increased risk to all road users, the change will also lead to greater inconvenience for users of the Airbridge service and to drivers for transport companies who will have to work in the middle of the night in order to ensure passengers reach the air terminal safely.

Consideration will also have to be given to the Public Works Department gritting gang who will have to start work earlier, potentially resulting in cost implications for the Falkland Islands Government.

The lack of consultation and consideration for the passengers and businesses that use the service has been identified as particularly concerning.

Andrea Clausen, Managing Director of Falkland Islands Tours and Travel Ltd, said “I am very disappointed with the decision to change flight departure times, which appears to have been done without any consideration for the civilian population in Stanley. This even earlier departure will have an impact not only on my business and my colleague’s, but more importantly on our clients. It further highlights the lack of safety measures in place along the MPA Road.”

President of the Chamber of Commerce Roger Spink also commented that “it would appear from the short notice, lack of consultation and timings that no consideration has been made for the civilian passengers who use and contribute towards the cost of the MOD flights. There are very real problems in the winter getting to MPA at this time in the morning and I would ask that the decision should be reviewed on safety grounds.”

 

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