Argyle Airport And Its licensing Problem

The views expressed does not represent the editorial position of NEWS784, but solely of the author.Send all opinion pieces to news784svg@gmail.com.

Here are the basic problems with licensing Argyle airport.

There is no purpose built medical facility of any kind whatsoever built at the airport.

There is no hospital within a short distance capable of coping with crash emergency victims.

There is no hospital anywhere on the island capable of coping with crash emergency victims.

There is no dedicated ambulance service centre located at the airport.

No ambulances have been purchased for the airport.

There are no dedicated rescue boats located adjacent to the airport.

There are no dedicated rescue boats anywhere on the island at all.

There are no dedicated rescue helicopters located at the airport.

There are no rescue helicopters or any other type of helicopter anywhere on the island.

There is no sewage treatment plant at the airport.

There is no mains electricity supply at the airport.

There are no traps for contaminated runway or apron water; it will be run straight into the sea.

There is no radar system at the airport that can keep a track of aircraft, just the old radio and binoculars system. And apparently none planned for any time in the future.

There is no emergency cross runway provision for adverse wind conditions for small aircraft which includes LIAT.

The runway is built on a swamp and requires a ground radar test for safety purposes.

Part of the aircraft apron at the terminal is built on swamp also.

The Yambou river tunneling requires removal and a different system installing.

Most of the airport land is only compacted to 45% and should be compacted to 94% and 100%. Aircraft veering off the runway may become buried in soft soil. The soil above the

Yambou is not compacted at all.

The approach lights are only connected to a generator and they are required to be connected to a duel supply for emergency purposes. Currently they are not even connected to the generator since they recently dug up the supply lines.

There is over 1 million cubic feet of contaminated land at the airport which is now connected to the sea, affecting fish and sea birds.

The land owners whose property was taken to construct the airport remain unpaid eight years after they were due for payment. Vincentians in New York, London and Toronto are going to placard picket the offices of any international carriers who use Argyle Airport.

The original senior chief engineer who was responsible for constructing the airport has refused to sign off because of safety hazards and deviance from his instructions without his agreement or/and against his professional advice.

Just to let you know, this week two men with paint brushes started to paint the rusty perimeter security fence. They have not wire brushed or used rust neutralizer before painting and are painting straight on top of the rust.

Peter Binose

cc all embassies, airline associations, major airlines, and Lloyds of London.

34 Comments

  1. Someone is trying their darnest to prevent svg from having an international airport. They are putting all kind of obstacles into the way of this major project that will help in the development of the country. St Vincent and the Grenadines have suffered hundreds of years of colonial suppression and I think those who do not want vincentians to prosper are doing whatever they possibly can to see this airport does not operate. This is very sad, and whether it’s the opposition NDP backers and obstructionist, the neighboring islands or others progressive thinking vincentians will not let them keep this airport from happening. I am quite sure all the issues that the writers of this article cited why Argyle will not be license is just something so frivolous and a bunch of obstructionist mumble jumble. I am quite sure that the surrounding islands that have an international airport does not have all the facilities in the proximity as the writer cited, I quit sure that many major developing countries does not have these facilities. Kingstown Milton Cato Memorial Hospital is not far away, there are medical facilities around the adjoining neighborhood that can be developed and prepare for these situations cited by the writers. St Vincent and the Grenadines are a progressive developing country and in time the current facilities will be enhance to handle any emergencies. So to all the obstructionist out there stopping placing obstacles in the way of the country development.

    • All of these problems cited will not be solved overnight. In fact they wil, never be solved if the current management continue to brush these issues aside. Why when someone be critical of this airport project they are considered obstructionist? If we continue to pretend that this project is running effectively and efficiently it’s simply a hole we are digging for this country and can’t get out. Some people need to be more realistic in their mindset and realize this project have tremendous implications if we don’t get it right. If we can’t get small things right then we never get the big things right either. There is further evidence to show we continue to get the small things wrong too often which end up in big problems which the writer point out. Painting over rusty fence without using rust neutralists! Smh

    • The person writing this has to be a complete idiot. I want to know one airport regionally or internationally that has all the amenities that was mentioned. The problem here is that some vincentians are too damn narrow minded. Everything has to be politically motivated. Enough of the bs already. Time to start putting country over party. It’s okay to hate your leader but love your country.

      • You are so right Sonia Jackson. Caribbean people always using party to stop progress. I’m from Barbados and I don’t think we have any of the things the author listed, or that they are not dedicated to our airport.
        I time to put country first and not party, your new airport when it opens will open many opportunities for Vincentians.

      • Sonia, try Barbados they have flight control radar, a substantial medical centre, ambulances, boats and helicopters.

        So does Antigua.

        I would give a lot of other stuff but you can’t cut from information pages and post it in these comment boxes?

        • I would like to post some excerpts from the relevant official manuals with safety requirements and instruction but cannot?

        • Peter where Barbados get the helicopters from?its only recently that a ambulance and a medical office was introduced at GAIA you need to get your facts straight.As for Radar Piarco is who control the radar for most of the Caribbean which is fed into monitors in different terminals for each territory
          , I am wondering what is you agenda not wanting to see this airport complicated, better yet what’s your solution to the travelling Vincentian public?

    • You sound very naive and ignorant… For you to even assume that the NDP and their supporters could be responsible for this is absurd. These are regulations that must be met by an INTL board and that is all there is to it. Asking whether or not our neighboring countries have these facilities in place shows two thing: one; you’re under-informed and have not done proper research and two; you believe that if your neighbor breaks the rules or gets a waiver that you are therefore obligated to get the same treatment… Which is a pretty weird mentality to have… I say let us all meet all the safety regulations and move on from there because we don’t want SVG’s name being slandered when an unplanned event takes us by surprise.

    • The Hospital in Kingstown has an accident and emergency department that is aprox 20′ x 20′ with 5 curtained areas for the injured. I have seen people wait for 12 hours with broken limbs to be attended to. Can you imagine for one moment an aircraft with 400 people many of those injured getting treated at such a place.

      The road from Argyle to Kingstown is dangerous during inclement weather. Big deep potholes now appearing again and no attempt to repair them. Road is subject to landslides in places and there are dangerous side drops with no barriers or even warning signs.

      I bad weather it could take a good hour or more to get into Kingstown. How on earth can we deal with a crisis under those conditions.

    • Dear Marcus, the hospital in Kingstown can only deal with the number of serious casualties in a day that you can count on one hand. They more than often have no drugs except aspirin, no burns unit, no bed sheets or pillowcases and no air conditioning except in the babies ward. The hospital is dirty and serves food that is only fit for pigs, no on eats it and relies on relatives to bring in meals.

      I assisted a friend who had a broken arm, he sat for 12 hours in the emergency department before he was treated. Later he had to go to Trinidad to have his arm rebroken and reset because it was not set properly at the Milton Cato Hospital.

      There can be dozens perhaps hundreds of casualties in a major air accident which SVG are totally incapable of treating more than 10 at the very most a day. Even those treated will receive third world treatment. The hospital can be an hour away and insufficient ambulances to carry the injured.

      It may well be that some of the older regional airports do not meet up to required standards, that is no reason why a brand new hospital should not. Most certainly Barbados meets all standards and have got excellent rescue cutters when all we have are coast guard boats which are little more than rubber ducks, rubber dingy’s.

      We are dealing with peoples lives here, there can be no short cut.

      • Peter, its has been proven globally that the safest transportation in the world is by plane, for you to be writing these guidelines and wishing for the worst to occur surely you are very small minded. You should be writing a more positive article, inviting entrepreneurs about the opportunity to invest into some of your opinions making the airport to meet these requirements in the near future. Not all airports have the facilities and guidelines soon after completion, as one writer put it; stop the partisan politics and put country first,”its not what your country can do for you, its what you can do for your country”.

  2. Woe be unto this foolish coward who has to hide his identity by using the alias Peter Binose. As a proud vincentian, I find your comments and continuous quest to tarnish our beloved country to be very disheartening. The majority of the voting population choose the current regime to run the affairs of SVG for a fourth consecutive term and whist you do not support the ULP, the will/decision of the people must be respected. I advise you to use your talent/skills to help your preferred political party to make itself more appealing to the voters by articulating clear/progressive ideas for the country. Afterall, it should be clear by now that chastising the PM/ULP supporters and tarnishing the name of SVG, wont win you an election. Instead, your party needs to win the most votes in atleast 8 constituencies. Thats the only way…………its not rocket science.

    • Where do get off talking about politics. The write is pointing out critical issues that should be taken care of. Vincentians want to put SVG on the map, then it should be done with proper credit. Give the world something good to brag about when they speak of St.Vincent. Put politics aside and educate yourself. Ignorance is a bliss, but to be educated is salvation.

    • Lorenzo I have not mentioned politics at all. I have laid out the problems these are not political problems they are problems caused by stupid people and upheld by stupid people like yourself.

    • I read Peter Binose comments, at no time did this person mentioned any political party, he was merely stating about our International airport at Argyle. So why are other people bringing politics into it? Why is this person being castigated by some for his opinion!

    • Rather strange comments for you to make Laro Banz seeing as you are not listed in SVG’s phone book, neither do you appear in the voters list.

      I declare you have been sent by the comrade to try and make wrong right, well it just does not cut.

  3. This is the problem with Vincentians, someone point out the problem that need to be fixed and automatically he is the devil. I guess the airport havent put the country into a big enough financial burden. It’s amazing how people have the nerves to even try to defend this nonsense when they have a fire truck that will go to a fire without water! The rest of the world don’t work like that! It’s clear the a lot of the people don’t require much so they settle for crappy service so it become the norm it a damn shame. Keep ridiculing the writer it will not get your airport licensed.

    • Ann, believe me you are not the only one baffled my the mindless and senseless ramblings of some supposedly “educated” people… I have not seen one single statement mentioned in the article that stands out as being false. But we have people asking whether or not the other countries have these things already in place… (why don’t they go there and find out if that means so much to them?) I think if a plane is to be swallowed up by that runway it would be detrimental, also if there was to be an emergency water landing i can only imagine the confusion that is gonna arise in such events… Let us get these important things in place then we can smile a smile of content as we boast about what we have accomplished… But apparently alot of my fellow Vincentians have gotten too comfortable at praising half-baked and mediocre achievements.

      • You have to make sure that all safety requirements are in place. It have nothing to do with being proud of your country when it comes to safety you cannot worry about who dont have theirs in place

  4. WE ARE CONSTRUCTING AN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT NOT A BUS TERMINAL,FOR AIRLINES TO START SERVICING OUR COUNTRY ALL THE AMENITIES LOGISTICS MUST BE IN PLACE AND BE ABLE TO HANDLE ALL EMERGENCIES, THE MAJOR AIRLINES MANAGEMENT WILL INSIST EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE IN PLACE.THERE IS STILL SO MUCH MORE TO BE DONE.WHAT ABOUT GROUND STAFF THAT MUST BE TRAINED ON ALL OF THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF AIRCRAFT`S THEY WILL BE USING.HAVING THIRTY YEARS IN THE HEAVY MAINTENANCE OF AIRCRAFT`S I CAN ONLY HIGHLIGHT A FEW AREAS OF OUR SHORTCOMINGS IN GETTING READYTO BE OPERATIONAL.

    • Oswald the latest is we are not and have not constructed an international airport. They have just decided to take international out of its name and grade it as a local regional airport. THat means they do not need to conform the international requirement.

      So the latest is that the airport will be used by Amerijet which is a commercial goods carrying aircraft with no passengers carried. They therefore can land there because the insurance requirement are different, they can just about land anywhere licensed airport or not. The other airline that is confirmed to land there is LIAT who is not an international airline, it is a regional airline and will not carry the same airport licensing requirements as international airlines.

      So what it all amounts to is the airport will open just as soon as they can get the fencing done and the basic regional airport requirements completed and then move Arnos Vale to Argyle Airport.

      So we have just spent a billion dollars and bankrupted the country to create a new Arnos Vale. The difference is the Leeward coast citizen will now have a travelling time of 2 hours and a taxi fare of 200 dollars. There are no shuttle busses to or from Kingstown so you will be at the mercy of the taxi drivers.

      So those expecting to fly to Argyle from their backyard in the US, Canada or the UK, hard cheese. You will still have to fly to Barbados and and fly the LIAT way, cancelled flights, delayed flights and lost and delayed luggage.

  5. So, with all this hulalaboo, I am and will be always afraid of flying into the Argyle Airport, since I am a Vincentian living in NY. I am so scared of that area and always been so. Politics or not, regulations and emergencies has to be in place to protect the lives of all. Professionals and others who knows what it takes to have these in place should be heard and take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of all.

  6. C. ben-David says:
    November 2, 2016 at 8:40 AM
    With all due respect, Peter, even if your claims are actually true, they are irrelevant, obfuscatory, and distorted.

    First, like me, you have often argued that Argyle International Airport was built just for show and vote getting. So what else would you expect to see if this is just a phoney political project?

    Second, and more important, please tell me which operating airports in similar sized countries all across the Caribbean have all the facilities you imply are absolutely essential for a facility to be certified as operational? For example, which have sewage treatment plants? And why would you expect sewage treatment at the airport when there is none anywhere else in our land, including the hospital? Which airports in countries like ours have rescue boats and helicopters or in-airport medical facilities?

    Third, and equally important, how can all these services be expected to be in place in a facility that is still under construction and so far from completion?

    As for the compaction issue, something you have raised dozens of times, how can you accept your readers to accept this assertion just because you have made it (without presenting a scintilla of evidence) but without any independent corroboration from experts in this area?

    Your most interesting assertion — which I accept as true — is the painting of the rusting fences with no preparation (though there are several brands of rust paint that require no preparation). You well know that this is the standard way repainting takes place in our backward little country. (A neighbour of mine had her steel fence repainted by a full-time painter a few years ago. The fence faces the very dusty roadway and the workman did not even wipe it off with an old cloth before proceeding. Of course, the paint began to fail recently and had to be repainted by a visiting relative from overseas who had the sense gained in the diaspora to wash it off first with a garden hose.

    So, even if all your facts are correct, they hardly have any significance.

    If you want to make a real contribution to the airport debate, why not give us a full accounting of the expenditures on it to once more debunk the issue of a “coalition of the willing” paying 70 percent of its construction. My crude estimate is that various loans constitute at least 70 percent of the cost so far, a figure that is bound to grow. So put your Bi-nose to the grindstone and give us a fuller accounting of this important issue because, unlike the above assertions, all the data you would need is available from verifiable sources.

    Have a nice day, my friend!

    • I have been saying for years that the Svd government has no clue when it comes to understanding what is required for an international airport. I for one started flying back in the 80″ after hearing about the Bequia airport and suggested to the then Pm that only a helicopter service was needed.
      Barbados and Trinidad spent well over $150 million us to upgrade their facilities and became the 2 biggest hubs in the Caribbean. Cannouan had already had a facility to make a better airport, but no! This pm had to have a new airport that cost a gazillion dollars at what cost? No proper infrastructure, no hospital no emergency facilities. Who in their right minds will want to fly to Svg when it will cost approximately 15-30% more to fly, and if you’re lucky maybe 1 flight per week. It’s absolutely absurd. All the aforementioned islands too decades to build and upgrade, Svg want to do it yesterday. Complete stupidity. Mitchell fooled the people in Bequia promising 27+ flights daily now the airport is just a white Elephant, lucky to have 2 flights. I get the moronic comments from the peanut gallery ever so often saying that I’m anti progressive which is utter bullshit. You cannot hang your hat where you cannot reach it.

    • well first an airport cannot be built then it will never finish then too much wind then the runaway has soft spots ever step forward some ass will come up with another reason why the project will fail who aint get pay is tied into the licening an internatonal airport
      is saint vincent the sloe property of the ULP or every vincentian
      TIME U GUYS STOP THIS BULL SHIT

      • The problem you have got Kris is its not BS its all actual facts, but that obviously does not bother you.

        Kris you ignorance is noted and what you wrote therefore discounted.

  7. There are so many airports in the Caribbean without access to some of these services but yet still operational. Here is man who calls himself a Vincentian who have embarked on an exercise to destroy a country and its people. I am calling on the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force Special Branch to unmasked Peter Binose so we can know who he really is. His comments are not objective but rather revengeful. This is what I call political subtifuge. He is not only undermining the Government but also its people, and the future of our children. There is nothing wrong in being objective. However, fairness must be part of your objectivity. I have my reservations about the manner in which our Government operates and treat its people but they have also done an enormous amount of good for the country. Peter, It seems that your motive is to destroy any possibility of inward investment into SVG and opportunity for our people. I still challenge you to right one good article about St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

  8. I have been saying for years that the Svd government has no clue when it comes to understanding what is required for an international airport. I for one started flying back in the 80″ after hearing about the Bequia airport and suggested to the then Pm that only a helicopter service was needed.
    Barbados and Trinidad spent well over $150 million us to upgrade their facilities and became the 2 biggest hubs in the Caribbean. Cannouan had already had a facility to make a better airport, but no! This pm had to have a new airport that cost a gazillion dollars at what cost? No proper infrastructure, no hospital no emergency facilities. Who in their right minds will want to fly to Svg when it will cost approximately 15-30% more to fly, and if you’re lucky maybe 1 flight per week. It’s absolutely absurd. All the aforementioned islands too decades to build and upgrade, Svg want to do it yesterday. Complete stupidity. Mitchell fooled the people in Bequia promising 27+ flights daily now the airport is just a white Elephant, lucky to have 2 flights. I get the moronic comments from the peanut gallery ever so often saying that I’m anti progressive which is utter bullshit. You cannot hang your hat where you cannot reach it.

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