Leonard Perez, centre, talks with PM Gonsalves, 2nd right and other officals during the tour. (IWN photo)

A Cuban expert working on the construction of the Argyle International Airport says the wind conditions there are not very different from other Caribbean nations.

There have been concerns that Argyle is not suitable for the construction of an airport, because of the incessant strong winds.

The EC$700 million international airport is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, and to become operations

The government has said that if needed, a cross-wind runway will be built to accommodate smaller aircraft more like to be affected by the winds during landing and take off.

“I want to say from my experience that the wind condition here is not very different from what you will find in other Caribbean condition. And the wind is not always along the predominant direction; it will vary,” Cuban engineer, Leonardo Perez said, speaking through Vincentian interpreter Aluka Dublin on Thursday.

Perez explained the situation during a visit of the Cabinet and the media to the airport construction site.

“What really affects the airport is the crosswind component. And from the studies that we have we have had so far, it doesn’t show that that crosswind component is very dangerous or worrying,” he further said.

“When you study the placement of an airport, the first thing you have to take into consideration is the wind studies. And second, you have to study the terrain. It could be that the optimum direction orientation is east-west, but then you will do the study of the terrain and it might be impossible to place the runway in that direction.

“Sometime ago, we have discussion with the airplane operators in St. Vincent and we asked them if they thought it would be necessarily to construct a cross-wind runway. And what they said was that if we were to build a crosswind runway, that will take them into the hills and it would be better to build a runway that is longer, so that they can approach and make the necessary corrections. It would be safer for them to land at this one,” Perez further explained.

“But the most convincing information we have is the results we have had so far from the wind studies, because the crosswind component affecting the runway is not serious.”

The Ralph Gonsalves government has been criticised for not completing winds studies before construction the airport.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has said that wind studies can take almost a decade to complete.

The studies are being done simultaneously with construction of the airport.

11 replies on “Crosswind at Argyle airport not ‘very dangerous or worrying’”

  1. ” the wind is not always along the predominant direction; it will vary” wow what a statement that makes it even worse.

    Its really strange because the 3 year long private wind studies show that things are many time worse than the Cubans claim for their studies.

    “The studies are being done simultaneously with construction of the airport” They should be done by an independent group, not the Cubans, we know they will tell us what they are told to tell us.

    I notice the cost figure has gone back to EC from US?

  2. Who can believe the words coming from an official representing a dictatorial Marxist regime where free speech, political opposition, and an open press do not exist?

  3. The discussion on the issue of the Argyle Airport wind regime should be centered around turbulence rather than direction of flow. Several wind studies have been done at Argyle, some of which relate to the feasibility of wind power generation. Check them out! They were shelved due to the turbulent nature of the wind regime.

    Those of us who have flown and encountered turbulence would have a good idea of the impact on aircraft.

  4. Joan Antrobus says:

    Is C. ben-David serious?

    Didn’t he see the annual reports regarding INTERNATIONAL transparency, and how transparent the Vincentian government is?

    Would the various lending and REGULATORY agencies permit this country to build an unsafe airport?

    Just what is C.ben-David smoking?

  5. Joan Antrobus, are you living on a different planet to the rest of us?

    Its what’s called the Maurice Bishop double book-keeping system. Are you really unaware of what is going on?

  6. Joan Antrobus says:

    Hubert, are you saying that the International Regulatory Agencies are aware of the wind studies you mention, AND ARE DELIBERATELY IGNORING THEM?

    Further, are you saying that the Argyle Airport would be UNSAFE as a result of the turbulence in the atmosphere in that location?

  7. Patrick Ferrari says:

    And it is going to take only a few hours to dig up a mile of the runway, fix the compaction and resurface it. And that would not cause a delay. And, oh, by the way the new opening date is ….

    And they are (substantially) on track to (substantially) finish it on time … substantially, well sort of..

    And money is not a problem.

    And at the end of construction the airport will be debt-free.

  8. VIN JOBE, thanks for the video reminder, I have personally flown into Manchester airport and seen those conditions for myself.

    What is worrying is that the wind speeds at Argyle are sometimes twice the speed of those which you show in the video.

    My engineer friend has been carrying out private wind surveys at Argyle for the last 3 years. It will be most interesting to see the official studies and compare them to see if they are cheating.

    He has told me that there will up to eight weeks a year when the wind conditions will not allow the airport to be used. That’s a week here, a day there, a couple of days here. Not all together and not all at the same time of the year.

    The problem that creates for long haul flights is that airlines need to know that when their aircraft arrive at an airport, they will be able to land safely. If there is always that doubt that they may have to divert to other islands, which doubles their cost’s, they will think twice about using Argyle as a destination.

    They have not completed the seven years wind studies so they have not yet submitted them for approval. I doubt if they will make them public, they don’t want to get caught telling lies. I will make sure that the private studies are submitted for comparisons

    Just as the compaction still is not right ,and I will personally point the inspection officials to where they can prove this is so.

  9. Raymond Robinson says:

    The Cuban expert (for whom English is not his first language) is paying for not expressing himself the way the NDP blowhards would like him to.

    The expert was responding to comments that the airport is “very dangerous” and “worrying” as a result of the cross-winds.

    All the gentleman said, is that those comments were untrue.

    He said that the crosswinds are “not very dangerous or worrying” – – in response to those specific inaccurate claims.

    As usual, the NDP riff-raff seek to play on a speaker’s words!

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