Fri 3rd Aug 2012

Argyle airport must be cancelled now

We were first told that the Argyle airport was due to finish in 2010, then 2011, then 2012, then 2013 and now 2014. It seems that the leader of the ULP regime has no idea what year the airport is due to finish.

What is also of grave concern is the inherent, dangerous flight safety problems with Argyle airport and the striking similarities with the 'ghost' airport of Spain - Castellon airport.

Spain's Agency for Air Security found that Castellon's runway is too narrow for airplanes to turn around and too short to allow airplanes to safely land, taxi and take off. Castellon airport's runway is 2,700 metres long and 45 metres wide. The Argyle airport runway is 2,743 metres long and 45 metres wide. Common sense says abort Argyle airport now, as it too, will fail to secure a civil aviation licence to operate flights.

A report by the College of Aeronautical Engineers in 2005 showed that the orientation of Castellon's runway exposes it to risks from strong gusts of wind and should be changed. The International Civil Aviation Organization agreed that the winds could be unpredictable, which would make the runway dangerous to use.

Arygle airport is situated in the wrong place and has very dangerous inherent tailwinds and crosswinds that are a serious and major flight safety hazard. The dangerous winds make it doubtful that the Argyle airport will be useable for 95 percent of the time.

Castellon airport was due to open in 2007, then 2008, then you get the picture! Farcically opened in March 2011, the airport has not had one plane or one passenger. We can expect the same at Argyle. The ULP regime cannot build the Argyle airport on a site that is totally unsuitable for an international airport rating. Spain tried it and got their fingers badly burnt.

Reported in the New York Times as a 'symbol of ruin', Castellon airport is one of the white elephants that have brought Spain's economy to its knees and needing a financial bailout. Over $720 million dollars was spent on Castellon airport, but it failed to secure a civil aviation licence to operate flights and the airstrip is due to be torn up.

Similarly, hundreds of millions of dollars have been wasted on Argyle and now Argyle airport is an ongoing saga that symbolises the reckless public spending of the ULP regime on ill-thought out, useless projects. The Argyle airport project is bankrupting our country; there is no money available to build it. We must abort Argyle now as Argyle airport will get the same rejection by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Castellon airport was apparently going to bring tourists, but it has only brought misery, debt and high unemployment and taken money that should have been spent on public services such as hospitals and schools.

Arygle airport will only bring debt, misery and higher unemployment and public services in SVG are already under-funded. SVG cannot afford the opportunity cost of throwing hundreds of millions of dollars down the drain at the argyle airport site. The Argyle airport must be cancelled now.

Argyle airport is destined to be a 'no fly zone'.

With so many young people leaving school and unable to find a job, it is crucial that SVG builds a strong, Green multi-sector, science-based economy. SVG must replace oil-produced electricity with renewable energy, ensure that education is absolutely free from preschool to university for all our children, and take our gold mine - our deep sea fish licence - away from Taiwan and use it to benefit our people.

The priority is jobs and prosperity for our people.

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