Open forum: Cyril E. King Airport Is an Eyesore

Cyril E. King Airport

Dear Source:

Appalling conditions at King Airport are hurting our economic recovery. It is now 11 months after the hurricanes, and the St. Thomas airport is still in a deplorable condition.

The air-conditioning is barely functioning. Tons of ceiling tiles are missing, revealing the interior infrastructure damage to the roofing.
It’s an eyesore and is inexcusable this far after the storms.
The restaurant is closed as are the shops. Small kiosks are the only alternative for snacks and beverages.

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The men’s and women’s bathrooms appear not to have been cleaned in months and are filthy.

The footprint for passengers to sit has been drastically reduced so on busy weekend travel days there is not enough seating room and a wildly chaotic scene unfolds as travelers stand bunched like sardines next to the few remaining gates creating overcrowding and safety issues.

The FAA’s $1.4 million proposed fine against the V.I. Port Authority is not surprising, given the unprofessional appearance of the St. Thomas airport, its operational failures, and the lack of progress in repairing the airport facility and roof.

Bringing the St. Thomas airport up to professional standards for visitors and locals should have been of the highest priority and a bedrock principal in our economic recovery.

Puerto Rico’s Port Authority, by contrast, made that commitment to get the airport back up and running within weeks of last year’s storms, and as a result, the facilities in Puerto Rico look amazing, especially compared to ours.

The community would greatly appreciate an update from the port authority on its repair plans and timeline for bringing the facility up to normal professional working standards.

Filippo Cassinelli of St. Thomas

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