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Fri 31st Jul 2015

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Should Gonsalves go on trial for abuse of power in wasting about $800 million on Argyle airport?

The decision to go ahead with Argyle airport was an outrageous act of economic madness. It is a shocking abuse of power by the ULP regime to waste over $800 million building Argyle airport, knowing in advance that the wind study shows that Argyle is not suitable for an airport.

What kind of psychosis exists in the minds of the ULP regime leadership to waste over $800 million on Argyle airport, while Vincentian children live in poverty and go hungry? They were dotish to build Argyle airport – their actions are shameful.

Should Gonsalves go on trial in a court of law for wasting about $800 million on Argyle airport?

According to page 14 of the ULP regime’s Environmental Impact Assessment, the whole rationale for building the Argyle airport was to accommodate Boeing B747-400 aircrafts. However, the conditions at Argyle are not suitable for Boeing B747-400 aircrafts, because of the very strong crosswinds at Argyle.

The ULP regime has failed to carry out the 5 years of wind studies needed before constructing an airport runway, as set out by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidelines. However, wind studies were carried out between February and October in 2007 and these showed that the wind direction was predominantly east to west, and that the wind speeds at Argyle reached 53 knots and it was not uncommon for the wind to be around 40 knots. This is too much for a 747 aircraft.

20150731table

The table shows that in good weather, Argyle will be highly unsuitable for landing and take off for 747 aircrafts. In bad weather, wet weather, it will be impossible for 747 aircrafts.

In 2007, it was known that the crosswind speeds at Argyle were up to 53 knots and that the site was not suitable for 747 aircrafts, yet the ULP regime ignored the facts and recklessly carried on regardless. The ULP regime displaced many families and businesses at Argyle and destroyed hundreds of acres of prime agricultural land at Argyle, whilst knowing that the winds speeds at Argyle would make it unsuitable for 747 aircrafts.

The ULP regime have their head in the sand. Their stance of ‘we gone too far to turn back’ is highly irresponsible and has been a financial disaster. Over $800 million has been wasted on Argyle airport and this has devastated our economy, virtually bankrupted our country, caused many businesses to close down and increased poverty.

Given how hard it will be for large aircrafts to land and take off at Argyle, imagine how hard it will be for small aircrafts to land and take off at Argyle and how often LIAT flights would be postponed or cancelled. If the E.T. Joshua airport is closed, then SVG may have less air capacity than now, because with strong crosswinds of up to 53 knots, Argyle would be closed often and less able to take flights than E. T. Joshua airport.

Rather than turn back, what SVG needs to do is to move forward and the only way to do that is by aborting the Argyle project and not waste millions of dollars more. It will take at least 4 more years to complete, because there is a river running through the runway, and even then, it will not get an ICAO licence to operate, because of the strong crosswinds of up to 53 knots and the other flight safety hazards associated with the site.

Argyle has been an economic disaster and massive white elephant. The ULP regime have mentioned that airlines will have to be paid to fly to SVG, and this shows that the whole project is a financial mess and will not create revenue for our country.

A Green government will abort Argyle airport immediately. We will invest money in a tuna fishing and canning industry and build factories to export agricultural products. This will create revenue for our country and create jobs and prosperity for our people. Vincentians’ needs have been ignored too long.

The Argyle Airport site can be turned into an industrial estate for small businesses or a wind farm to produce cheap electricity from renewable energy.

Vote Green Party – both the ULP and NDP regimes want to waste millions of dollars more on Argyle airport.

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