The noise came from a Carnival Development Corporation show at the decommissioned airport. (iWN photo)

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]

Should this article appear to be written in the moment of passion, it’s actually a moment of total exhaustion and possibly an unclear head, given that I was up until “fore day” morning listening to the concert at the now decommissioned Arnos Vale Airport. I am certain that like many Vincentians I was quite surprised when I saw Arnos Vale being set up to host a big show, but I didn’t think further of it until last night when the music pounded in my ears and deprived me of my usual peaceful night’s sleep.

Was it that the relevant authority, be it the Commissioner of Police, or some other, had a moment of excitement about the novelty of a concert in a former airport and granted permission to host a concert there and this was a momentary lapse of reason on his part — or is it that this is going to be a new nuisance that residents of the Arnos Vale, Villa and other surrounding areas now have to get used to as the new norm? Has the value of all of our properties just dropped in that we will no longer be able to peacefully enjoy them?

The music not only kept me awake until wee hours of the morning but it did so to visitors staying on Young Island as the sound waves moved across the water and blasted into their hotel rooms.

The Government has just built an international airport and we all hope that now that it is built “they will come”, but we must consider that if they do not come it may have more to do with the environment that we present to tourists than anything lacking in our new grand international airport. We as Vincentians have to make it work, and for this to happen we have to take noise pollution seriously. Noise pollution has been damaging tourism in the Grenadines for years, causing many guests to check out on many nights (from hotels on Admiralty Bay where the music from harbour bounces off the waters and into their rooms) and yachts to pull up anchor.

Should the Commissioner continue to give approval to persons to host shows at Arnos Vale, hotels in the area will see major drops in their numbers and residents of Villa like myself will have to consider moving. But moving to where? Perhaps Argyle?

I call on the new Commissioner of Police, Renold Hadaway to take noise pollution seriously, it is a matter not just of the economic success of our hotels and guest houses, but even more importantly the well-being and health of our nation. Every good doctor will tell you that without a good nights’ rest, the body cannot replenish itself and prepare for another day.

Surely the Government has better plans in mind for the former Arnos Vale airport that a party site. I implore the Government that whatever is done at the former airport should not be something that creates a nuisance to the residents of the surrounding areas. The music stopped minutes to 3 this morning. In the national zoning plan that is being developed, is noise pollution going to be a factor in considering what can happen where. While Arnos Vale may be shifting to being commercialised, there are thousands of people living there and in the surrounding area of Villa, where the music most certainly reached. When are we as Vincentians going to stop progressing in an ad hoc and unplanned way? There should be reason and thought behind our every step as a nation. The hosting of that concert last night was ill conceived and I hope it was the first and last time to simply bring down the curtain on E.T. Joshua Airport and not be the start of the destruction of the peace of that area.

Louise Mitchell, Villa resident

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

5 replies on “E.T. Joshua Airport to be used to create a new nuisance?”

  1. Could one imagine if ET was updated to accommodate 747, 24/7 365 days a year, what effect it would have on residents in the area around the airport. An event that stopped at 3 am is no comparison. This is not a regular event and even if you have an event once or twice a week it really is no problem because it ends at 3 am.
    I don’t hear the residents around Victoria complaining about the noise, so are folks at Arnos Vale living in a priority zones.

  2. Noise pollution is a global phenomenon, exacerbated in tropical countries by the adverse heat retention effects of using simple sound reduction techniques (like closing windows) and the-prohibitive expense of soundproofing (triple glazed windows, wall insulation, and air conditioning).

    Third World countries like our own also suffer from slack noise enforcement by authorities (the laws are there dictating noise level maximums) and the absence of monitoring equipment. How many of our police stations have inexpensive sound level meters?

    Moving to Argyle will only make matters worse for you, Ms. Mitchell. If the airport is a success — a highly unlikely outcome — the noise from the jets will deafen you; if it is a failure, the site will be converted to a multi-purpose entertainment centre featuring loud music day and night.

    As for Arnos Vale, there are no “plans in mind,” only pipe dreams.

    The only realistic solution is to migrate to a First World country — Canada, your ancestral homeland, would be a good choice — where noise pollution laws are actually enforced.

  3. Lots of nasty comments on Boom radio this morning about this from hosts and callers re: Villa elites wanting special noise abatement treatment when, from my perspective, what most Vincentians want is peace and quiet while they are trying to sleep based on proper noise pollution law enforcement or the enactment of new laws and other regulations if existing laws are inadequate.

    Why do so many people insist on playing the envious race/class card whenever more privileged people only ask that existing laws be enforced?

  4. Unfortunately, Ms. Mitchell, we have heard that the ET Joshua Airport property is slated to be the center of a new city at Arnos Vale. And in that City, a new entertainment complex with cinemas and retail stores are planned. But is that the highest and best use of the property?

    What about sustainable developments? Could the airport and surrounding properties be redeveloped to enhance the lives and wealth of surrounding residential areas and citizens while contributing to real and sustainable economic developments in our nation’s best interest?

    Ivan O’Neal of the Green Party has been preaching about the need for a national technological and engineering university in SVG for some time. Wouldn’t this property be ideal for such a development? And if such a university were to include a School of Aviation and Aeronautical Engineering, wouldn’t the foundation for such an initiative be well served by the assets already present at the Arnos Vale Airport?

    Imagine an Eastern Caribbean university where pilots could be trained, airplane engineers and aeronautical students could receive their degrees, research and development can be conducted in Information Technologies, alternative energy (Solar, Wind, Wave, geothermal, etc.), food technology and nutrition science, agricultural engineering and research, transportation alternatives such as a “Light Rail System utilizing electricity from locally generated solar power and/or geothermal power”, and Entrepreneurship, would this university be something that could foster economic development in SVG and exploit the highest and best use for the now de-commissioned Arnos Vale airport property?

    Stipulated: Kingstown is in a sad state. Entertainment facilities are lacking. There is desperate need for good restaurants, theatres, museums, hotels, and other assets that would contribute to our leisure and hospitality sector. However, these industries must not form the foundation for our sustainable development, even though they will complement our “Wonderful AIA”. Pursuit of real Educational Initiatives such as a technological and Engineering University of Hairouna would offer a better and greater foundation from which the new airport, tourism (leisure and hospitality), from which ordinary Vincentian citizens and our neighbors in the eastern Caribbean can benefit.

    Let’s not continue to bemoan the development of the AIA. but by the same token, let’s not turn Arnos Vale redevelopment into a “hurry-Hurry poorly conceived and implemented” project….. least of all a noise-polluting dancehall, retail destination and movie theatres. We have just taken a giant step at Argyle. Let’s cultivate the frame of mind to move forward in the pursuit of better, if not necessarily bigger initiatives in the transformation of our nation.

    May God bless the Argyle International Airport! May the people of SVG continue to expect and have quiet enjoyment of their residential properties. And may we all adopt a mentality of POSITIVE ACTION in the furtherance of our national deliverance.

    Vinci Vin

  5. How come our people have become so inconsiderate and intolerance of each other. Having loud noise for an extended period in an area where this not common will of course cause concern to the residents of that area. But the attitude of people is though, if does not affect me, well yo cool dey and deal wid it! Not my problem. If people in a certain area, for example Arnos Vale, are accustom to a quiet night’s rest and now their life are being affected by a noise coming from a facility is now being used to hold loud party, don’t they have the right to speak out? Yes they do. Who feels it knows it. The only time we see it fit is when it affects us, otherwise the other person should just deal with it or move out. And why does everything facility has to be turn into a party venue? Don’t we have enough facilities in the country already to have party without disrupting the lives of people with all that noise? I could understand a place like Victoria park where for most of the carnival festivities are conducted and the residents are fully aware. However, this is new phenomenon to the people living in the vicinity of the old airport. Therefore, we have to understand and be considerate to our people and their lively and stop bashing one other if their lives are affected by the newly created from party conducted at the old airport. We can do better that.

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