The Honourable Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Transport and Aviation, has been making some pretty concrete statements regarding the opening of the Leonard Thompson Airport. I welcome it. And I commend her for being one of the few in Parliament who seems to remember Abaco exists.
It seems everyone else in the government only calls on Abaco when they need something. And this seems to have been a trend for the past couple governments.
Ok, that statement might be an exaggeration. But sometimes it’s hard to tell.
The most recent case-in-point is the failure-to-launch regarding the Tropic Ocean Airways Sea Plane flights direct into Hope Town. This thing was a sure-fire hit. Imagine visitors to Abaco stepping onto a plane in Ft. Lauderdale and stepping off right onto the beach in Elbow Cay. Money in hand. The company operating it has a good track record of service in our country and it seemed everybody was on board with the idea. More importantly they were planning on building the service to expand to more Cays and also mainland based flights.
Their inaugural flight was greeted by Customs, Immigration and the Ministry of Tourism. The red carpet was rolled out (in this case a cold drink and the feel of sand beneath their feet) to welcome the sea plane full of journalists, magazine publishers and travel writers who all returned to the US that afternoon to share and promote Abaco.
A sure-fire hit.
Unfortunately no one ever returned the company’s calls, proverbially speaking, after that and the whole deal fell through. Airlift, which we desperately need in Abaco, cancelled because someone in one department or another was dragging their feet. A simple paper couldn’t get signed.
Wonder what is worse in this case: the deal falling through because of intentional politicking… or sheer incompetence.
But we always need to remember we are not powerless to accept the “fate” handed down to us, regardless of whether the source is incompetence or politicking. We need to speak up, all of us, if we ever wish to be heard. Grumbling into our Saturday morning souse won’t solve anything. Some might argue making an effort to get the government’s attention is just as useless, but I really disagree.
We live in a beautiful country with remarkably talented individuals scattered throughout. And (of course I’m biased) we have a higher proportion here in Abaco. We need to start acting like it and demand responses from those we put in charge.