Fri 30th Nov 2012

Argyle airport progress - drip, drip, drip

Progress at Argyle airport has been like a bucket filling up drip by drip. We were told it would be finished in 2011, then 2012 and now 2013. Drip, drip, drip. Now though, it seems as if the slowly filling bucket has a leak, and progress is going backwards. The drip, drip, drip of progress cannot keep up with the 'leak' of incompetence, and the bucket is getting emptier.

Generally, in the Caribbean, airports are located on the southern side of the island and / or in line with the prevailing winds. Unusually, Argyle airport is located on the windward coastline, and dotishness had led to it being positioned dangerously perpendicular to the strong prevailing winds.

After spending 31 years in the Royal Air Force as a Safety Engineer, Mr Ivan O'Neal went on to graduate with a BSc(Hons) from Oxford Brookes University, England, an MSc from Bradford University, England and an MBA from Leicester University, England.

Several years ago, the Leader of SVG Green Party, Mr Ivan O'Neal, warned ULP policy makers that the Argyle airport runway is too close to the sea because of the strong winds, and that Argyle is not a suitable location for the airport that was being proposed.

The ULP regime's response to Mr Ivan O'Neal's observation was very negative, and his concerns ignored. Now though, it seems that policy makers are in the process of changing the orientation of the Argyle runway away from the sea and more on to land.

However, the change is very small and will have no tangible effect in terms of flight safety. Moving the runway a few feet from the sea is cosmetic and a sticking plaster approach.

If the incompetent ULP regime are going to persist with this bad location, then bigger changes are clearly needed. It has been said before that it was extremely foolish to build the airport terminal before completing the runway, but the question now is, will the airport terminal have to be dismantled and relocated?

When they started building the airport terminal there was a big ceremony to which many people were invited to watch the ceremonial 'beating of the chest' and listen to the vacuous pontification. Will there be a similar large ceremony when the airport builders start knocking down the airport terminal to make way for the new runway orientation?

Day by day, the Argyle airport resembles more the mess of the Castellon airport in Valencia, Spain. Castellon airport's runway is the same width and length as Argyle airport's. In February 2012, the Telegraph newspaper, UK, reported that Castellon airport, having failed to secure an international civil aviation license to operate, will now have its unused runway torn up. The runway is too narrow for airplanes to turn around and will have to be widened to meet regulations.

Approximately 30 million euros was spent on publicity for Castellon airport. How much was spent on the ceremony for the airport terminal beginning and will a similar amount be wasted when the airport builders start to knock it down?

The new map, showing the proposed new Argyle runway orientation, shows that the terminal building has been moved to the Peruvian Vale end of the runway.

At least when it was drip, drip, drip, with a leap of imagination, maybe, we could have called it progress at Argyle; now, with such a big 'leak' of incompetence, things at Argyle are going backwards. The bucket will never fill - abort the Argyle project now!

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