Articles

Fri 10th Feb 2017

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Argyle airport is a flight safety risk

According to The News newspaper of Friday 3 February 2017, the International Airport Development Corporation’s Communication Officer, Jennifer Richardson, when contacted Wednesday afternoon about the Argyle airport runway, said essentially “some remedial work” was being done because “soft areas” of the asphalt surface “were a little soft”.

This presents a serious danger at Argyle airport. If the Argyle runway is sinking without any weight on it, imagine how much and how quickly it will sink with the weight of airplanes on it. The runway is built on a swamp and is sinking in a number of areas. The photograph shows the black areas on the runway illustrating the recent repair work in early February 2017.

In the interest of passenger flight safety, Argyle airport should not be opened on 14 February 2017 as it would put passengers in harm’s way. An airplane attempting to land on a runway which is not hardened, can result in a serious airplane accident at Argyle airport.

The recent digging up and repair work on the Argyle airport runway needs time to cure. Soil takes time to settle, sometimes 2 to 4 years. It would be foolhardy to close E.T. Joshua on 14th February 2017, given the fact that large parts of the Argyle airport runway are sinking.

It is dangerous to have parts of the Argyle airport runway sinking. St. Vincent could be without an airport on a regular basis, if Argyle airport is closed frequently for runway repairs.

Leader of SVG Green Party, Retired British Royal Air Force Safety Engineer, Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (Hons) MSc, MBA, calls for immediate compaction tests on the Argyle runway. This is needed to prove to the public and to certify that the Argyle airport runway is safe for aircrafts to use it. This is in the interest of passenger flight safety.

It may be that, at best, Argyle airport can only be used by small, light planes, because the runway is sinking. Argyle airport runway is continually undermined by flood waters and this can cause sink-holes.

At Brisbane airport, Australia, they waited 4 years for the soil to settle, so that the soil could compress naturally and take the weight of large aircrafts. Doing patchwork repairs on the runway at Argyle airport and not giving the soil time to settle is a big danger to passenger flight safety.

According to Ivan O’Neal, who has a Masters degree in Macro-economics, history has shown in many Caribbean countries, that the greater the focus on mass tourism the greater is the growth in poverty, a dependency culture, destitution and crime. As Barack Obama said in April 2015, SVG should copy the Singapore economic model to bring prosperity to our people. Argyle airport will not boost the economy.

The sinking Argyle runway is representative of the sinking SVG economy. Patchworks repairs to the SVG economy over the years by the ULP regime have failed. So too will Argyle airport.

With all the major flight safety hazards at Argyle airport and a sinking runway, Royal Air Force Safety Engineer Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (Hons) MSc, MBA, is making an emergency call for Argyle airport not to be opened as it is unsafe.

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