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Argyle airport should be substantially competed by December 2014 – Matthias

Argyle airport should be substantially  competed by December 2014 – Matthias

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Although construction of the Argyle international airport is expected to be completed by December 2014, management of the International Airport Development Company (IADC) has declared that the facility may not be ready to receive international flights until mid-2015.

Chief executive officer of IADC Dr Rudy Matthias made this announcement last Thursday {{more}}while giving a general overview of the airport, following a tour of the site by members of Cabinet.

“We are working steadfastly to completing this international airport project – I say substantial completion of this airport project – by December of this year,” Matthias said.

“Those who didn’t believe, who sometimes listen to what we say and perhaps sometimes question; I’m sure now that you’ve visited and you’ve seen for yourself, I’m sure you must admit that we have made substantial progress and it is quite possible that this project will be completed by the end of this year.”

The chief executive officer noted that although the country has been experiencing adverse weather conditions, the onsite construction has been going exceptionally well.

Matthias revealed that the runway is at a level where they can start applying base material; concrete works have started on the apron area and the terminal building, whose construction is already completed, is currently being retrofitted so that conveyer belts, scanners, counters, furniture, as well as two airplane bridges can be installed.

“I suspect that if you were to visit us here again by December, that much of that will be here already installed, so that providing the funds are made available to us at the rate of which we need the funds to be made available to us, that by the end of this year, this airport will be substantially complete,” he told Cabinet members and media officials.

While Matthias highlighted the end of year deadline, he stressed that it does not necessarily mean that the airport will be open for operation.

“Let us remember that substantial completion of construction is not the same thing as the beginning of airport operations. Once we have done all the construction work and we have done the retrofitting of this building (airport terminal), there is a lot of work that we have to do behind the scenes before we can make this airport ready to receive flights. So that in the first half of next year, we have a lot of work that we have to do,” the chief executive officer said.

He explained that this includes working along with the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority and the local director of Airports so that preparations can be made for the airport to start receiving flights.

Furthermore, Matthias noted that if there is additional construction works that need to be done, that period will also be used to do so.

“While we are working hard to get the construction done by December, we still do have the first half of next year, while we are doing testing and other things and other procedures that we need to do to have the airport ready. We can still get the construction works completed then.

“The best thing to think about is that we are trying to have this airport become operational by mid-year, next year. If you ask me a date, that is the date I think you might want to fix in your minds. That sometime mid next year, God’s willing, we should be able to receive international flights here at Argyle,” Matthias declared. (BK)

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