ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Director of the Stanford Development Company (SDC) Andrea Stoelker is seeking to dispel rumours of a proposed increase in the parking fees for workers at VC Bird International Airport.
Reports on Tuesday indicated that the fees would be increased for the airport employees to $3 extra per day. But Stoekler says this information is baseless.
According to the director, SDC, by way of letter on October 5, 2011, notified the CEO of the Antigua & Barbuda Airport Authority, Gatesworth James, that there would be a stipend attached to the passes allotted to the airport workers, at a negotiable rate.
Prior to this, SDC had been providing 250 parking passes at no cost to airport workers, Stoelker said.
She said she then had a discussion with Minister of Tourism John Maginley, who informed her that the situation would be looked at, but he was unable to do so.
“I tried several times to contact Mr James. The calls went un-answered. I spoke to his secretary, Ms Solomon, who notified me that he had, in fact, received the message but he still had not responded to me,” Stoelkersaid.
After failure to receive a response from James, Stoelker said a decision was made on November 15 to allow the airport authority staff to park in the facility by purchasing passes for the regular rate of $30 per month.
“We are not trying to put anybody out. It is just that we operate a business now. We are trying to work with everybody. We have costs and the workers are complaining of lack of security at the car park, but we cannot provide that service level if we don’t have income,” Stoelker said.
She added that the airport workers’ vehicles occupy two-thirds of the lot, and this situation needs to be moderated.
“There needs to some income generated from the parking lot, and the rumours about what is generated from the facility is far exaggerated. The majority of people park there for free,” Stoelker said.
She maintains that if the facility is to return to the professional level of service offered during the Stanford era, the revenue must be increased.