Thursday, 21 June 2007

Dili Airport

In the past week I have had to use the airport twice. I have to say it’s a bloody disgrace. I was on a flight to Bali last Wednesday and arrived at the airport with about one-and-a-half hours to spare. There is now nowhere to sit outside, the little café is closed down and the toilets are like an open sewer. Upon checking in and going through to the departure lounge, after being told that if I was a diplomat I wouldn’t have to go through any security checks, I found that I couldn’t even buy a small bottle of water. Duty free booze is on sale but you are not allowed to open it in the airport.
Upon returning from Bali the arrivals procedure is just as bad. In ‘baggage reclaim’ I counted 16 trolleys for more than 100 passengers. There are no fans or air conditioning and one small old guy was unloading 4 trailers of luggage.
This airport is the first/last sight most visitors have of East Timor. It used to be quaint and a bit of a ‘people watching’ place around lunchtime each day. Good espresso, people arriving/departing, somewhere to sit. The airport manager (if there is one) should be given a kick up the jacksie and then sacked.
There, that got that off my chest.


jrodrigues sarmento said...

Hoje no :

“AQ UI É Timor-Leste” em destaque estão as seguintes notícias:

Eleições livres e democráticas vão levar algum tempo, diz João Carrascalão

Presidente timorense pede Governo de unidade após as eleições

ONU pede ajuda internacional para reduzir fome no país

este é o endereço:

Anonymous said...

Mate! I doesn't look like things are likely to get any better until the dust settles down after the June 30.

What we need is a new fresh government whith genuine intentions to improve the living conditions in the country.

I think that change is about to come. Lets sit tight and wait for the long needed reforms that will come with a new boss.

Anonymous said...

And the new government, awash with oil and gas money it will find difficult to spend, should scrap the $25 fee for a visa on arrival and the $10 departure tax as a way of encouraging budget conscious tourists. Timor Leste news an economic revolution to quickly establish jobs and a future for the kids.
-Concerned observer, Oz

No-doz said...

Can't agree more on the airport. I looked everywhere for a t-shirt emblazoned with the proud image of a dugung and there were none. Scandalous.

(And a note about the visa fees - the $300 to $500 airfare from Bali/Darwin is a far bigger obstacle for tourists than a visa fee. Backpackers easily pay $30 at Bali on top of their bargain airfare.)

Anonymous said...

Maybe Horta will sort it out for a small kick back, rumour has it he's more open to a bit of legitimate dodgy dealing with the west than the last lot.

Anonymous said...

Got that off your chest eh? This wouldn't be a case of the whinging Pom would it?
Here we are in a nation that’s struggling to achieve the fundamental aspects of social welfare ie. Access to healthcare, food, basic govt utilities, a recognisable justice system, security etc. not to mention the estimated 1 fifth of the Timorese population malnourished and without food security and here you are, bitching about trolleys and air conditioning at the airport!?
Maybe the IDP's in the camps, like Metinaro, that need to walk long distances daily to collect and carry firewood and water should have a trolley or two as well! Wouldn’t that be nice.
Did you consider offering to help the poor old bastard who was unloading all that luggage by himself!?
As for the water, here’s an idea, the next time you’re lucky enough to be FLYING somewhere, why don't you buy some water from one of the 3000 struggling little kiosks around town and TAKE it to the airport.
No, maybe I’m being silly. Keeping pasty faced tourists and malais happy is so much more of a priority right now!
Step back and have a look at what you're saying.
As for scrapping the VISA fee, please...


isaac new tone said...

Estou totalmente de acordo com o comentário anterior.
I totally agree with the previous commentary.