Fri 11th Nov 2011

Argyle airport project is senseless, reckless and grossly irresponsible

The technical symposium about Argyle Airport on 8th November 2011 is a total nonsense and a waste of time and money. Who in their right mind starts to build an airport and then 5 years into the construction starts to think about technical issues? When you build a house, you draw up plans and think about technical issues before you dig one shovel of dirt. Surely, it is the same, and even more important, to do this when building an airport.

The technical symposium illustrates again that the ULP regime have no idea what they are doing and they have no plan to move SVG forward. There is no focus or vision and they are making things up day by day. The result of this incompetence is the high level of crime, poverty, violence and suffering we see all around our country.

A nonsense symposium cannot reverse the serious inherent and dangerous flight safety hazards endowed by Mother Nature on the Argyle Airport site. The Argyle airport project is senseless, reckless and grossly irresponsible and must be aborted now to avert a catastrophic air accident at Argyle.

Long before a single shovel of earth was dug at Argyle, the ULP regime were told in the Argyle airport Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report, that the off-shore islet Milligan Cay Wildlife Reserve, with 14 different species of birds, will lie directly in the proposed approach path of aircrafts. The report went on to say that conserving biodiversity should still be viewed as critical.

When birds fly into jet engines, they damage the engine and the engines must be shut down. A nonsense symposium will not change this. It will be dangerous for aircrafts with hundreds of passengers on board to use Argyle airport.

The width of the runway at Argyle airport is too narrow for an instrument landing runway which is needed during very bad weather. The technical symposium cannot change this and this fact alone shows that the symposium is nonsense and just being used for political mileage. If we close E.T Joshua airport, then in bad weather, the new SVG airport will be Grenada or St. Lucia, as planes will not be able to land at Argyle.

The Argyle runway has very strong perpendicular cross winds which are a serious flight hazard. Does Gonsalves think his technical symposium will be able to change the wind strength and direction?

The EIA consultants recommended that the Yambou river remain in its original river bed. Foolishly, the ULP regime ignored the consultant's recommendation and decided to culvert the Yambou River under the runway. During heavy floods, the Yambou River will rip through the Argyle airport runway, rendering it unusable and leaving SVG without an airport. The nonsense symposium can do nothing about this.

There are many technical problems with the Argyle airport site. The nonsense symposium is unable resolve any of them. We should not throw away $1.2 billion dollars on the Argyle airport project knowing it has serious flight safety hazards.

Better to abort Argyle now and invest this money in health, education and jobs for our people instead.

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