Union Island Airport in dire need of repair, says resident
A regular user of the Union Island airport is calling on the authorities to do something about the dilapidated state of the facility.
Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT under the condition of anonymity, the Union Island resident said the airport is in dire need of repair.
The person cited issues with the toilets, fire trucks, the vehicle being used to transport airport workers, the chairs in the airport, the equipment used for baggage, the roof, the lighting system and the inadequacy of the bathroom facilities, where at times, persons cannot even get water to wash their hands.
The unused airport shops is also an issue to the resident, who said the stalls have been closed for about 10 years now and although persons want to operate them, they are not being allowed to.
âTo me, there is no maintenance, but if they maintain the airport, there will be no problems,â stated the person, who is of the view that the fire trucks stationed at the airport frequently break down, because they are left exposed to the elements, which include sea blast.
On May 19, a flight was about to land when it was reported to the control tower that the fire truck had broken down and the landing had to be aborted. The plane was diverted to Canouan and the passengers had to be transported to Union Island by boat.
The person also complained that one section of the airport has a light hanging from the roof, which is being held up only by an electrical cord.
The person said that in their opinion, the experienced workers who were stationed at Union Island were sent to the Argyle International Airport (AIA).
âIf you canât maintain a little two by two airport in Union, how they going do the bigger one, queried the individual, who called on the Government to pay more attention to Union Island.
Union Island Airport manager Ken James could not be reached for a comment and director of Airports Corsel Robertson was out of state up to press time.
However, director of Grenadines Affairs Edwin Snagg told SEARCHLIGHT that the problems at the airport as described by the individual are exaggerated.
ââ¦There is no way in hell we can have all those issues. From time to time there is an issue, but things do go. Even in your house, your toilets malfunction sometimes and you have issuesâ¦ I donât know about the leakingâ¦and how dirty the chairs are, as compared to other public places,â Snagg said, via cellular phone on Monday.
He noted that the Buildings, Roads and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) continually does work on the airport to repair minor things.
âIf we are to do a full refurbishment, that is a capital project,â stressed Snagg.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Godfred Pompey also said that the maintenance at the airport is an ongoing one and all of the issues will be addressed.