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Illegal Competition Involving Taxi Drivers Operating Without NLTA Licenses At The SSR International Airport

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A site visit was effected, on Friday afternoon, by the Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Mr Alan Ganoo, at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (SSR) International Airport in Plaisance. The site visit was followed by a meeting at the seat of the Airports of Mauritius Ltd (AML).

The objective of the site visit and the meeting was to explore strategies to ensure continued smooth operation of licensed taxi operators at the airport and to devise solutions to tackle the problem of illegal taxi operators.

Illegal Competition Involving taxi Drivers Operating Without NLTA Licenses at the SSR International Airport

 

The Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Ms Naveena Ramyad; Parliamentary Private Secretary, Ms Teena Jutton; the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Choolun Bhojoo; the Chief Executive Officer of AML, Mr Deovrat Baichoo; the Chairperson of the Taxi Operators Welfare Fund ( TOWF), Mr Parvez Nunnoo; Representatives of the National Land Transport Authority (NLTA), the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, Airport Terminal Operations Ltd, AML, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Land Transport and Light Rail, the Mauritius Police Force(MPF) and the Civil Aviation department, were also present on the occasion.

In a statement, Mr Alan Ganoo underlined that the site visit has been affected to probe into particular issues that were raised by duly licensed taxi drivers, police officers, and other stakeholders, operating at the SSR International Airport. He disclosed that a meeting was held on 14 February 2024 with representatives of the Airport Taxis Association and Eastern Taxis Association, during which the concerns of these taxi drivers were discussed.

Illegal Competition Involving taxi Drivers Operating Without NLTA Licenses at the SSR International Airport

He pointed out that the issues that were reported include illegal competition involving taxi drivers operating without NLTA licenses and incidents of aggression and abusive behaviour by these illegal drivers. To mitigate these issues, a dedicated corridor for licensed taxis has been identified to ensure that tourists have direct access to authorised taxis upon exiting the airport, he averred.

The Minister announced that additional staff will be hired to enhance the services of the Airport Terminal’s taxi desk, in order to provide for improved management and for the safe escorting of tourists to the designated taxi corridor. There will be increased monitoring by the Police and NLTA officers to prevent any mishaps, added Mr Ganoo.

Illegal Competition Involving taxi Drivers Operating Without NLTA Licenses at the SSR International Airport

Besides, Mr Ganoo stressed on the importance for licensed Taxi drivers to adopt a proper dress code, which he said will project a positive image of the airport and of Mauritius.

For his part, the Deputy Commissioner of the MPF spoke of the daily operations that are carried out at the Airport, indicating that some illegal taxi drivers have been placed under arrest. He reiterated the MPF’s commitment to maintaining the airport’s reputation as a safe place for tourists.

Illegal Competition Involving taxi Drivers Operating Without NLTA Licenses at the SSR International Airport

As for Mr Nunnoo, he recalled that the TOWF has been set up to improve the welfare of taxi drivers. He reassured that the Ministry will take swift actions to promptly address the concerns that have been raised.

Similarly, Mr Baichoo characterised the presence of these illegal taxi drivers in the airport compound as alarming. While lauding the endeavour of the Ministry to probe into the matter in order to take immediate actions, he reiterated the support of AML to enhance the quality of service offered to visitors.

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