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Government policy regarding wind at Argyle unchanged – PM

Government policy regarding wind at Argyle unchanged – PM


The issue of cross-winds at Argyle, where the international airport is being constructed, must stop being used by some who may already be opposed to the construction of the airport.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, while responding to a question posed by parliamentary representative for the northern Grenadines Dr Godwin Friday in parliament on May 16, said the policy of the government regarding the wind issue has remained constant and within the regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

And based on ICAO’s regulations, the government made a decision to conduct crosswind studies during the construction phase of the airport and if needed, to construct a crosswind airport 700 metres long and at a cost of US$1 million to be used by smaller aircraft at the facility.

The International Airport Development Company (IADC) began collecting data from three wind stations in 2008.

These three stations were positioned at the northern, southern and middle sections of the area where the runway is being proposed.

And based on the data collected from the centre wind station over the last four years, it was determined that the predominant wind direction comes from the East (E) and East North-East (ENE) between 9 and 14 knots, with gusts reaching between 24 and 38 knots.

The frequency of the wind coming the ENE reached speeds between 5.5 and 10.8 knots, occurring 41.6 percent of the time and winds reaching between 10.9 and 16.2 knots was 50 per cent.So too, the frequency of the wind coming from the east at speeds of 5.5 and 10.8 knots was 8.3 per cent.

“These are the raw data from the wind station measuring the frequency and wind direction of 100 per cent of the time from the wind station located at the central point of the runway,” the prime minister explained.

In relation to the orientation, Gonsalves said that the data revealed that the most adverse wind action was that coming from the east and that once the average wind speed from the east was higher, or about 14 knots, that the wind speed and direction will give a crosswind component of between 10 and 11 knots.

“This is the crosswind component that would be adverse to the safe operation of the smallest planes using the Argyle airport,” he said.

This was information collected after four years the prime minister explained and by December 31, 2013, five years worth of data would have been collected, and if after this period of time, the results suggest that a crosswind runway is necessary, then, in keeping with the government’s policy, one will be built. (DD)