Some 54 per cent of truck at the airport site need repair with 60 per cent of the earthworks yet to be done. (Internet photo)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – About 60 per cent of the excavation works at the Argyle International Airport will be completed by year-end, according to Consultant Engineer Leonardo Perez.

But only 54 per cent of transportation trucks at the facility are working, the specialist said through a translator at a symposium on the EC$652 million project this week.

Perez, in his progress report, said that 9.5 million cubic metres of hard rock and soil still has to be excavated but the embankment construction is 70 per cent complete.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, speaking at the same symposium described as “unfortunate” Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace’s statement in his Independence message that the airport is “untimely and therefore unlikely”.

“… the airport is three years into building. We have more than broken the back – done over two-thirds of the earthworks. We are engaged in the process to get the facility for crushing stones and for the asphalt plant as a precursor to the paving [of the runway], which is going to commence sometime … next year,” Gonsalves said.

“… the terminal building is going … and we are on target to finish this project at the end of 2013, to have it available for certification by the ECCA (Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority) and the International Civil Aviation Authority to commence operation early in 2014,” he added.

“We are on target and even in that context, the Leader of the Opposition writes that the airport is both untimely and therefore unlikely. How is that possible for somebody to say that? This is not just an issue of a doubting Thomas, this is an issue which is much larger,” Gonsalves further stated.

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