Articles

Fri 2nd Oct 2015

SVG air service reliability significantly worse with Argyle airport compared to E. T. Joshua

The Argyle airport has major flight safety problems, two of which are strong and dangerous crosswinds and very strong sea blast.

The strong and dangerous crosswinds make it highly unlikely that Argyle airport will achieve the mandatory 95% usability factor, i.e., the airport will be available for use at least 95% of the time. This will severely affect the Argyle airport’s ability to get a licence to operate.

Argyle Airport will be plagued with flight delays and flight diversions to Barbados, St. Lucia or Grenada, as aircrafts will frequently have problems trying to land or take off there, during times of high winds and wet runway conditions. In times of wet weather, the crosswind speed does not need to be high to cause aircraft diversions.

There is absolutely no significant advantage of Argyle airport over E.T Joshua airport, and given the fact there will be frequent flight delays and diversion, it is likely the air service to and from St. Vincent will be less and with much uncertainty. Our country has been ripped off by about EC$850 million by the ULP regime.

Passengers will be highly fatigued being diverted to other airports and having to overnight or wait long hours sat on their aircraft waiting for the high winds or rain to cease at Argyle before attempting another landing. Flights out of Argyle airport will carry much uncertainty for inter connections. The overall reliability of air service to and from will be significantly reduced.

There will be serious problems with the strong sea blast at Argyle airport. Landing or taking off in an area of strong sea blast can hinder visibility for pilots as their windscreen can get a layer of salt residue obscuring their view.

At Cork airport, Ireland, in January 2014, an ATR 72 aircraft (same as LIAT’s new fleet) had severe difficulty in landing. The aircraft had an aborted first landing due to strong gusty winds. During the second landing attempt, the captain noticed “a considerable build-up of white contamination forming on the windscreen” but did not immediately know its origin.

During the second approach, the captain said the residue made the windscreen opaque, “diffusing the [runway] lights into a complete blur,” and forcing a third landing attempt. The windscreen wipers had no effect in clearing the residue as the atmosphere was dry, the captain stated, adding that the windscreen heaters, turned on to prevent any ice build-up, may have exacerbated the problem by drying the salt residue. The ATR 72 does not have windscreen washer.

Sea blast will also affect planes parked at Argyle frequently or for long periods, leaving them highly susceptible to corrosion. Sea salt combines with oxygen in the air to corrode aircrafts.

It is downright shameful and vulgar that the highly incompetent ULP regime started the construction of this wasteful project without doing the mandatory five year wind study beforehand. Our country has been ripped off by about EC$850 million by the ULP regime. SVG Green Party is calling for an external audit of Argyle airport, and the finances provided for its construction, by the international community.

IADC has destroyed hundreds of acres of prime agricultural lands, destroyed the homes of hundreds of families at Argyle, torn up historic and religious sites, destroyed a community church and destroyed the economic livelihoods of hundreds of people who were living at Argyle.

Our country is mash up under the highly incompetent ULP regime. Strong and dangerous crosswinds and very strong sea blast will cause major flight safety problems at Argyle airport, severely reducing its ability to be used.

We need a change in SVG to a Green government. A Green government will create the jobs our people need and create a strong economy. Vote SVG Green Party for new jobs and money in your pocket to care for your family.

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