The weekend’s arrival at the Philip Goldson International Airport brought a clear indication of the need to further expand the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). Our newsroom received footage showing dozens of tourists in queue to be processed. While many have been signaling that the long lines of tourists were directly related to the travel insurance scheme recently installed, the Director at the Belize Tourism Board, Evan Tillett, explained that it had more to do with the volume of arrivals and the size of the airport.
Evan Tillet, Director of Cruise Tourism, BTB: “In Belize, what we need to do is to look at how we can improve the visitor experience of the process through the International Airport. I came in last week Sunday and there were no lines at the insurance section of the checkpoints going into the airport and so I can tell you, those long lines at the airport were there prior to the implementation of the insurance program. And so what we have is a capacity issue at the airport. We at the BTB are doing our jobs in trying to build the air route connectivity to Belize. We’re focusing on Europe. We’re focusing on regional carriers. We’re focusing on building additional routes through the American market but what you have is a capacity issue at the airport. When you have 23, up to 30 flights on the ground within a very small window then it will create bottlenecks and what we need to do is try and solve it. Now I understand that the airport should be working on some solutions to the issue but it won’t come immediately and so what we have done through the BTB is to basically try and make, to accommodate people in terms of those people in the line. We have given out free water today. We have added more concierge people to inform people of what is happening. Trust me, you won’t miss your flight. You won’t be delayed in getting to your airport. There are bathroom facilities in the airport that you can use once you get in and so if you make people comfortable then the experience is much better and that’s what we have and what we need to do in the interim until we can really change the airport to accommodate the numbers that the BTB is really bringing in through its marketing efforts.”
The last expansion of the PGIA dates back to 2017 when Terminal 2 saw a twenty-two thousand square feet expansion. Our newsroom is acquiring further information on this story and will have more in our evening news.