The concrete batching plant at the airport. (Photo: Friends of the Argyle International Airport/Facebook)

Things are “going guns” at the EC$652 million argyle international airport, as the Government pushes to meet the most recently announced completion date: mid-2014.

“2014 is going to be a year of heavy, heavy work to see the completion of the Argyle international airport,” Minister of Works, Sen. Julian Francis said Tuesday night on his weekly programme on the ruling Unity Labour Party’s radio station

“As you know, in November, we went to Parliament and got the rest of the money, the US$80 million that was required, to complete the airport,” he said, noting that the amount is including the 2014 Budget.

Francis said he was at a meeting at the Airport site for most of Tuesday.

“The terminal building is just about finished and it is going to be handed over for the end of this month,” he said.

He added that the handing over of the building — constructed by a Taiwanese firm — to the Government will not be “a public session”.

He said that only the actual construction of the building is completed.

“… the computers and data systems and check-in counters, the covered ramps from the aircraft to the building, all these things have to be fitted, and, because [earth]works are still going on and there is still a lot of dust around, the building is not yet received its final coat of paint.”

Francis further said that the parking lot is still to be built.

“And they are going guns, but the fitting in of the computer, the check-in counters, the [flight status] displays, all the fancy equipment that come with an international airport, now that the building itself is constructed and ready, the construction itself, this other aspect will commence,” Francis said, adding that there will not be public access to the building during the outfitting.

He said the asphalt plant “is in its final stage of being set up”, and bitumen suppliers have been contracted.

The person responsible for the relocation of the petroglyphs should arrive this month.

“Those works are on-going,” he said, adding that the laying of stone on and compacting of the runway, the levelling of the course, and the large concrete drains to take the water under the runway, …are being fine-tuned and completed.

“So, a lot of work is going on out there. … All that is taking place at the airport.”

Francis said that five cement trucks have been delivered and concrete works are going to be started “in the not too distant future”.

The concrete batching plant “is almost ready,” Francis said.

“We are going guns. Contracts are being awarded for the other buildings, he said, mentioning the fire station.

He added that tenders are being assessed and contracts will be awarded soon for the construction of the control tower and the fire station.

“And you have other areas of general cargo, hangars; and these are works that can be completed within eight to 10 months — maximum eight months.

“So putting those in place now is all part of the plan, because you have to get the road network built around it and then on the main highway, the roundabout there is still yet to be done, which would direct the traffic in an out of airport and to and from the country side…

“So things are going great guns out there and I believe that this 2014 coming is going to yield some great results for the Argyle international airport,” Francis said.

Construction of the airport is entrusted to the state-owned International Airport Development Company.

8 replies on “Things ‘going guns’ at Argyle international airport”

  1. That’s a big shopping list. I am skeptical of the timing. There is also no date as to when real flights – I mean real flights, will be able to use the airport. My bottom line is, when can I fly safely from Canada to SVG? I am still looking at 2020 and that’s if I am still around.
    By the way, are the Cubans still getting the lion share of the jobs, or are Vincentians now qualified to move dirt?

    1. PVpalmer; I can confirm that the majority of workers at the site are indeed Cubans. The Cuban flag is actually flying above the terminal building.

      Peter Binose, I have family in the Mount Pleasant area who are currently cut off from the Windward Highway. For the last few years I have been trying to establish when they will have proper road access. Here is an extract from an email received from the Communication Officer at IADC; “The road must be built and will be built the only question then is how soon. I cannot give you a definite date at this time as there has been some delay on the project, but it is scheduled to be done later this year. As soon as that date is known I will post it on the website and you will be so informed.” This email is dated June 2011.

  2. That’s good news from the Philistine, perhaps he can answer some further questions.

    Are we still getting the cement free from Mexico and the asphalt free from Trinidad? or was that more lies?

    I hope we are not having to buy all this stuff when the coalition of the willing were going to pay for it.

    When will the 6 miles of special airport tall high security fencing be erected, is that being supplied free as well?

    When will the oil terminal be built in the sea adjacent to the airport for the oil tankers to dock and discharge?

    When will the road be built around the headland of Argyle airport to our top tourist attraction at Rawacou, which I am ashamed to take visitors to because of the current state, caused by seablast and failure to maintain by the government.

    When will the 60 land owners at Argyle be paid for the land taken from them to build the airport?

    Seeing as the new LIAT aircraft are unsuitable to land at Argyle, where will they land, because some of the time its now obvious they cannot land and take off from E.T.Joshua either.

    Time to tell the people about the side wind problem, time to publish the studies, and time to compare them with the secret private studies which are complete.

    If the airport turns out for only suitable for military use, which country will lease it as a base?

  3. At last I have got the wind limits on our new ATR aircraft.

    The ATR42 Aircraft Flight Manual indicates that the tail wind limit of the ATR42 is 15 knots and also states:
    “The capability of the airplane has been satisfactorily demonstrated for take off and manual landing with tailwinds up to 15 knots. This finding does not constitute operational approval to conduct take off and landing with tail wind components in excess of 10 knots.”

    But they are not recommending take off and landing with tail wind components in excess of 10 knots.

    The American Eagle ATR 42/72 AOM states, under “Operation Limits”, the limiting tailwind component to be 10 knots.

    http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20001211X11530&ntsbno=CHI99LA055&akey=1

    ATR operating manual states that in wet conditions it should not do so in cross winds above 25 knots.

    A restriction imposed on doors, you may not operate cargo door with a cross wind component of more than 45 kt

    Ten Knots and above are the norm for Argyle, and also bursts and sustained cross winds well in excess of 25 kt also, its no wonder Brunton did a runner, those wind speeds are fairly common at Arnos Vale at certain times of the year also.

    PEOPLE WE ARE IN THE DO DO.

  4. CVanute Campbell says:

    Please tell Ralph to secure my place at The Argyle Int. Airport so that I can bring in my 10 Cesnas to start up my Student Pilot’s Club.

  5. CVanute Campbell, I doubt you will ever be able to locate 10 tiny aircraft at Argyle and run a successful business or club. I could not think of a worse place in the Caribbean for a student pilot to train. You will need to rope them down to anchor points or they will take off without a pilot.

    Argyle will not be light aircraft friendly because of the cross winds, up-draught and severe landing turbulence.

    The airport will also be unsuitable for LIAT’s new fleet of ATR’s.

    Large aircraft [200 -400 seats] will have the problem of having to land at an unplanned destination because of adverse conditions at Argyle, diversion to Saint Lucia or Barbados. They simply will not fly to a destination where they cannot rely on being able to land. Diversion cost’s many thousands of dollars to an airline.

    Remember SVG will have to pay for airlines to fly to Argyle, they will have to pay like Barbados had to pay for many years. Seeing as the country is all but broke where will that money come from.

  6. You know what pisses me off, are the lies about the entire project. SVG is full of ostriches with their heads in the sand. There are lots to be done before the airport will be ready for operation. Several people pointed to the terminal; as a success story, about the completion of the airport. I explained that the building is not the landing strip, which will be the major part of the process. They refuse to see or believe the picture before them. I keep seeing dirt and more dirt in every picture that is posted on the Internet.
    The government and its backers use the excuse that people are against the airport. But that’s far removed from the truth. What people questioned and are still questioning is the process. Ralph believed he didn’t need the advice of the opposition or the input from Vincentians, because the funding for the airport was coming from Libya, Cuba, Iran and Venezuela. This was going to be his legacy and like most things it was his way or the highway. He failed to show where the real funding was coming from, outside the promises made to him. Now he’s using every cent he can [get] from the Vincentian society to build the airport. The opposition should start putting the lies and promises he made for the last eight to ten years. These are the facts that should be placed before voters to show Ralph cannot be trusted.
    Like most of his startup projects, this one will be completed by another government somewhere down the road. There are far too many things to be done for Ralph to see the completion of the airport in his lifetime.

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