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ECCAA concerns about airport dealt with – Minister of Works

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Some utility poles had to be removed and a portion of road near the runway had to be sunk several feet for the Argyle International Airport (AIA) to satisfy the requirements of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA).

Speaking on Star FM on Tuesday night, Minister of Transport and Works Senator Julian Francis said that when ECCAA highlighted their concerns, they were addressed right away and the issues have been rectified.

ECCAA’s purpose is to regulate civil aviation safety and security and according to Francis, ECCAA is sufficiently satisfied with what they are seeing at the AIA.

Francis stated that when ECCAA showed concerns about the utility poles at Peruvian Vale, the St Vincent Electricity Services (VINLEC) removed them and ran the wires underground.

Explaining the other concern, the Minister said that the positioning of a portion of road, known as the “Zero Four” road at the Stubbs Bay end of the runway was problematic for ECCAA, but that has also been rectified.

Francis explained that this piece of road runs along the fence directly in front of where aircraft will be taking off, northwards into the wind.

“So, because of the closeness of road to the fence, the jet thrust would be a problem,” said Francis, who noted that that portion of road has been sunk 15 and 20 feet in some instances and it would also be blocked off.

“We are almost finished and once the road is blocked off, permission will be granted…we have no concerns about the certification,” said Francis on radio.

The AIA is scheduled to be opened on February 14 with two international chartered flights.

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