PASSENGERS arriving at Piarco International Airport within curfew hours will simply need to present their travel documents to a police officer on duty and they will be given a permit to go home or their respective hotels.
Those however wishing to head to Piarco Airport either to travel themselves or to pick up/drop off passengers will first need to head to their nearest police station with proof of travel...such as a ticket or copies of such and they will be issued a permit to head to the airport within curfew hours.
This was according to an exasperated sounding Transport Minister, Devant Maharaj, who chaired a media conference yesterday afternoon at the airport to address some outstanding concerns by locals and foreigners alike.
At least three times the Minister insisted, "we are in a limited state of emergency", as he pointed out that there will be, "some" inconveniences that will be borne by everyone.
Minister Maharaj said that he met with all stake holders in the airline industry prior to yesterday's briefing. The meeting was called when American Airlines began cancelling some flights to this country which Maharaj described as, "unfortunate".
The problem was that a heavily laden flight landed at Piarco on Monday night but there were problems issuing curfew passes to passengers to get to their respective homes or hotels. The flight crew experienced the same problem as well.
The passes were eventually handed out but the delay was described as a long one.
He said, "The Operations Manager of American Airlines did not contact the Transport Ministry with respect to (problems experienced by the flight crew and passengers in getting permits) but if they had we would have resolved the issue in a timely manner so as not to inconvenience those passengers coming in."
Maharaj continued, "There is now a police post on the compound (airport) during the duration of the curfew period and permits will be issued here and adequately staffed so there will be no unduly long lines as people wait after a long flight."
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Eulyna Julius who heads the North East Police Division, also addressed the issue of airport taxi services.
She said, "The persons who will be issued passes would be legitimate taxi drivers who are plying the airport route and most of them would work with companies like Servisair to facilitate crew members and passengers.
"The 'normal' taxi drivers on the street will have to prove that they are coming legitimately to pick up people at the airport because everyone is expected to be off the street at 9 p.m."
"Normal taxi drivers will not be issued curfew passes.
"We are in a limited state of emergency," Minister Maharaj added again, "and the normal taxi driver will have to accept that."