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Four small aircraft landed at the Argyle International Airport on Thursday. (Photo: Lance Neverson/Facebook)
Four small aircraft landed at the Argyle International Airport on Thursday. (Photo: Lance Neverson/Facebook)
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Vincentians could see a LIAT aircraft landing at the incomplete Argyle International Airport before general elections on Dec. 9 if the opposition raises doubts that larger aircraft can land at the airport.

“You know, if they raise any further noise about what we have done here today and if they say that ah can’t land a LIAT plane here, before December the 9th ah might bring a LIAT plane and land it right here,” Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told a ceremony at Argyle International Airport where four small planes landed as part of regulatory testing of the visual aids at the airport.

“You hear me? You hear me? So let them — I’m just telling them watch their mouth; be careful! Be careful! Of course, they are a very reckless and desperate group and they may say that. And I hope the press report accurately what I am saying here,” he told the gathering which included many persons wearing Unity Labour Party campaign t-shirts and carrying campaign flags.

Gonsalves, who has ministerial responsibilities for civil aviation and is chair of LIAT’s shareholders governments, told the gathering that the runway at Argyle, while incomplete, is longer than E.T. Joshua the nation’s main airport.

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“I tell you this, right where this airport is at the moment, the distance which has been paved is just over 6,000 feet. We are going to 9,000 feet,” he said.

A LIAT ATR aircraft.
A LIAT ATR aircraft.

He said there were some problems with some equipment and aggregates, which have been resolved and work is moving “fast pace ahead”.

“Do you know that E.T. Joshua, the length of it is only 4,600 feet? Gonsalves said.

“So this — what is paved here already we can land a LIAT plane right now. We can land an executive jet here. We can land Amerijet here. You hear me?

“And very shortly we are going to be able to land the 747 jets,” he said to cheers.

“And if they doubt me, just like how they doubted that any plane could land here, especially the small planes, and you see how — look, the ride I came in on today, the regulatory plane up front, the ride was very smooth.

“You know they had to make several circles for their testing and the landing was very, very smooth and everyone would tell you that. As [pilot] Mr. [Jonathan] Palmer said, the landing was routine. Routine. I say a piece of cake, he says he is a professional, he says routine,” the Prime Minister said.

LIAT is owned by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines with a combined shareholding of 90 per cent between them. The remaining 10 per cent is owned by other regional governments and minority shareholders.

The regional carrier’s fleet is composed of ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 twin-turboprop aircraft.

An ATR 72-600 needs between 3,855 feet and 4,373 feet of runway to take off and between 2,299 and 2,832 feet to land.

An ATR 42-600 needs between 3,281 feet and 3,822 feet of runway to take off and between 2,940 and 3,163 feet to land, according to the manufacturer’s website.

10 replies on “Gonsalves ‘might’ land LIAT plane at Argyle if pushed by opposition (+Video)”

  1. If Dr. Gonsalves charters a Boeing 747 to land at Argyle this would prove nothing.

    The only proof Vincentians need is evidence that the airport will make a value-added contribution to our economy and society. Such evidence has never been given.

    Nor is there any credible evidence of any interest by any international airlines in flying here or of any reputable hoteliers interested in building here.

    1. Luther Bonadie says:

      C hen,
      I made a comment before , that I would have had a fifth plane , with ” donkey cart ” men like YOU and that Peter Benose, I’ll fly it over Argyle Bay and dump both of you jack asses into the Argyle Sea.
      Darm foolish men.

      1. Isn’t the truth annoying Bonadie. But I would sooner hear the truth above from Ben-David than the continual barrage of lies and the continuance and embroidery of such lies by you.

        Go take an extended holiday in Venezuela and take your supreme leader with you.

        Its time for you to get a life and to get a mind of your own.

    2. Mr C Ben, I understand what you are saying about the need for the airport and its economic stability. Time will prove this.

      However you ansd many others have changed your tune. Some others were wishing for a disaster to the airport so that the ULP will lose, many said that small planes could never land there. That’s now proven. They will now say 747s will not be able to land there. Im sure when the time comes, 747s will land there. Then people like you will want spacecrafts to take off from there.

      People like you are never satisfied.

      You are negatives and really what you want is for the ULP to lose

      1. I do not think anyone wished that a disaster would happen. Nor did anyone ever say that small planes could never land there….Some did say that planes would never land there…what they meant is that the airport will never get any contracts from overseas airlines to land there. I am sure some planes will land there maybe many but because our government is so GREEDY no airline wants to come here because, like everything else that has anything to do with SVG…IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE….That is: the former NDP government as well as the ULP…ESPECIALLY the ULP.

        Of course it is a fact that small planes will not be able to land there much of the time…when the winds are too strong….SOME OF THE TIME!!! Please, do not TWIST people’s words…like the ULP likes to do.

      2. False. I never once wrote that the airport would not or could not be built or that big planes could not be capable of landing at Argyle.

        All I have ever argued — using a wealth of comparative data — is that we don’t need and can’t afford an international airport.

        We could build 10 Argyles if we had the money but this would never lift our economy out of its present position. On the contrary, it would simply increase our debt and poverty level for decades to come.

        The mainland of SVG is not now nor will it ever be a major tourist island (like Barbados, St. Lucia, etc.) as I and others have repeatedly argued using empirical data.

        Transforming our economy by enhancing our tourism prospects has always been the primary reason for building an international airport. If you don’t believe me, ask Ralph.

      3. You guys talk a lot of talk although you are not experts. Many people can talk but how valuable are your uttering. I agree with you C ben, it is better to ask Ralph for I know that you are no expert on the subject. Atleast ralph is aligned right now to experts and we have heard some of them already. So the better person to speak on the issue is RALPH

  2. It makes me sooooo scared when Ralph issues these threats!!! I feel like pissing myself with fright! Just another circus act so he can feel powerful. You would think that being PM is enough for his ego. He has really got an inferiority complex.
    Yes, we need a fifth plane…. to get Ralph out of here. Better yet, Make it ALL the Liat planes. The Airline is obviously Ralph’s baby….Liat, is the most expensive airline on earth, and bad service too, I may add. Not the workers fault, it is because RALPH is involved. Everything Ralph touches is an economic disaster!
    Hey put Luther B on those planes out of SVG, if you can get his lips off of Ralph’s Penis long enough to get him on the plane.

  3. Folks,
    There is an airport in Canouan capable of handling 737’s. don’t forget FIFA officials used it.
    Will AIA becomes another CIW.

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