In a letter addressed to the leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace from Stweart Engineering Limited on issues surrounding the Argyle international airport, It was stated by the firm that a number of preparatory work which should have been undertaken by the government was not.
The firm listed those works as follows.
- Wind Study at the Site for a period of at least 5 to 7 years for the benefit of the Airport Design Engineers, to submit the findings to ICAO for review, as well as for public awareness.
- An Economic Feasibility Study of the proposed project to show in what ways the development would impact on the national economy. An airport of itself is not a sustainable public
- An Environmental and Social Impact Assessment to determine especially negative impacts
which such a development may have on the physical environment and the neighboring communities, and to establish an environmental management plan which would seriously address the mitigation measures which should be implemented before, during and after construction.
- The government must own all the lands on which the proposed airport facility will be built.
According to the firm in its letter to the Opposition Leader,
The ULP Government failed to consider, undertake or complete any of the above prerequisites when construction work began at Argyle in 2008. It is for this reason that the ULP could not obtain international development low interest’ financing for the largest capital project ever undertaken in the nation.
The several missed completion dates repeatedly announced by the IADC since 2011 is symptomatic of gross mismanagement and incompetence.
The firm also stated the following:
- Storm Water Drainage Works at the airport have not been completed.
- Electrical Power Supply and Installations have not been completed. VINLEC is yet to complete the installation of ducts, manholes, and armored power supply cables, etc.
- The facility is still without a permanent water supply installation from CWSA.
- As yet, there is no Central Sewage Treatment Plant for this `international airport’. How will the sewage or liquid waste from aircraft be received and treated? How will the sewage from buildings and ancillary facilities be treated?
- Earthworks at the airport are still ongoing and there appears to be no systematic approach.
- The supply and installation of airport navigational lights have not been completed.
- The security fence at the airport facility has not been completed. Substandard fencing material has been procured and installed such that rapid corrosion will demand the imminent replacement.
- The Terminal Building was built at least 4 years before it can be outfitted and put to use. It has been overtaken by dust and corrosion. Poor economic and physical planning, a lack of understanding and appreciation of the time value of money has been so obviously displayed by the IADC and the ULP regime.
- The 3 Fire Tenders and 2 unnecessary Air-Bridges have been similarly purchased and parked for deterioration at least 4 years before they can be commissioned and put to use.
- Access Roads to the Argyle Airport Site are still to be completed.
- Essential Navigation Equipment is yet to be installed in the Airport Tower.
- The certification of the airport facility by the designated international agencies are yet to commence. The process of certification is a very serious matter not only for St. Vincent but for the Caribbean Region as well.
- It is our considered professional opinion that this Airport cannot become operational before December 2018.
News784 spoke with Communications consultant for the AIA Jennifer Richardson who indicated to us that they are aware of the document by Stweart Engineering and that the CEO is in receipt of such as well.
However, the Communications Consultant told News784 that she would be guided by the CEO in speaking on the matter.
Calls to both public utility companies were futile in obtaining any information pertaining to their role at the AIA.