Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has asked for a report by 4 pm on Monday on the chaos at Piarco International Airport on Sunday.
This was revealed by Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert, on television on Monday morning. He said just two out of the 15 rostered Immigration officers turned up for work at the airport on Sunday afternoon.
“While Immigration does not fall under my Ministry, I still wanted to know what caused the chaos and why the contingency plans did not go into place and how this could be prevented in the future,” Imbert added.
The Minister said Rowley has asked Minister of National Security, Edmund Dillon, for a report by 4 pm on Monday as to exactly what caused 13 of the 15 workers to stay away from the job.
What occurred on Sunday has never happened before. While in the past, there was a lack of staff at the airport, it was not that bad.
Incoming passengers did not have to wait four hours to be processed, as what happened on Sunday.
The line to the Immigration area was backed up to the tarmac, one eyewitness said.
Hundreds of arriving passengers had to wait for several hours to be cleared by immigration. Frustrated passengers were not aware of the reason for the delay and many vented their frustration on social media hoping to get relief.
No one could say if Sunday’s action was as a result of a protest.
By late afternoon, back up staff had been called out and passengers were finally able to clear Immigration and leave.
Officers from the Piarco Police Station were also called out to assist in controlling the situation as passengers vented their frustration.
Among the carriers bringing passengers to Trinidad were Jet Blue, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, and West Jet.
Caribbean Airlines in a statement on Sunday, said, “Like all airlines with arrivals into the Piarco International Airport this afternoon, some Caribbean Airlines arrivals were impacted by the queues in the immigration area. We continue to monitor the situation at this time.”