Categorized | Featured, Features, General, News

Fixed-wing Airport – A Priority — Dr. Lewis

photo of potential airport site (2001)

photo of potential airport site (2001)

Is this appropriate today as it appeared in April 2001?

This is the continuation of the article presented in May 22, 2015 issue as captioned above. We continue the plan to highlight the plight that Montserrat faces as it still complains no proper transportation access to the island.

Is that fair or does it simply require proper, firm presentation with only British Montserrat growth?

This is a crucial stage as we have lost already six years since UK/DFID acknowledged two mistakes, which they would do anything to make right. Follow that with Allan Duncan in 2011 three years later, who said his Government was prepared to do everything to put right the wrongs that had been done to Montserrat.

It seems that we should begin by forcing this Government to wake up and recognize the dream and the miracle now requires serious action, moving beyond the unchanged nepotism that continues to plague.

They should not continue to allow others to do the thinking for Montserrat, nor the agendas of many, individual though they may be, to be those that. It should be one agenda. All good is possible but research is critical.

Sir Hilary Beckles as he took on the Vice Chancellor role of the University of the West Indies, warns about the need for RESEARCH. ‘…all of the countries throughout the world that have managed to attain substantial growth have done it through industry and education, warning without good, applied research, there can be no innovation, and without innovation…developing partnerships in education, research and development is also imperative in this regard, he said.

I have been trying to pass this message of the need to research and gather information, just from the immediate past for our way forward, and so far deaf ears remain deaf, steeped in ignorance, picking up the corrupted rhetoric as they stagnate backward.

By Helena Durand

Vol. XVI No. 16 Friday,

04th April, 2001

Continued:

Mr. Eugene Skerritt, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works, told the Montserrat Reporter that a three-member team of Italian consultants is here assessing the Gerald’s site for the temporary airstrip. There were supposed to have been two teams, he said, but one was unable to come. The team here will also be looking at other sites, he said. However, “Gerald’s site is first because of the $10 million which we will get from the EU, if we use that site and have it finalized in time for July 1st.”

The Italians’ job reference, he said, also includes safety measures where the site is concerned. He said if the orientation is not correct, for instance if they find that there are “too much wind gusts and other mitigating factors, then there will be no accord. You could cut a flat piece of land any place, but it doesn’t mean it’s good for an airstrip.”

While here the team will meet the Chief Physical Planner, architects at the Public Works Department, officials at the MVO, and also fly to Antigua to talk with airlines there.

An airport with the facilities for landing a fixed-wing aircraft, likely a Dash 8 aircraft, may be more of a dream than most people realize, as the Committee for the Redevelopment of Montserrat (CRM) express their dissatisfaction with Gerald’s Park as a venue consideration.

The CRM met with two Montserratian pilots at the heliport earlier today to discuss the future of air access to the island in the near future. The pilots also met with government and the consultants and made some contributions to the discussion regarding air traffic in Montserrat. Both pilots, Tony Meade and Carl Burke, also recorded their serious reservations about the possibility of an airstrip, whether temporary or otherwise, being constructed at Gerald’s Park.

Montserratian pilots Karl Burke and Tony Meade - still flying for LIAT and farther afield

Montserratian pilots Karl Burke and Tony Meade – still flying for LIAT and farther afield

Mr. Burke told reporters at a press conference today that among concerns which haunt him about the proposed airstrip project at Gerald’s are, “When Dr. Lewis invited me down to have this discussions this morning, I realized that the government of Montserrat is committed to using its resources available to it to make a sensible decision and also an informed decision about an airport in Montserrat. The runway being proposed at this time is approximately 500 meters, which in the Caribbean is pretty much a short runway and requires a STAL aircraft to operate in and out of that airfield.” STAL, he, said means Short Takeoff And Landing.

“The main concern” he said, “was obviously the location, also the adjacent terrain and any other safety issues which we may have considered. One of the things that we focussed on was the turbulence in such a location, and in the final analysis, it was decided that an airport being on the northeastern or eastern side of the island would inherently have some form of turbulence.”

Mr. Meade noted, “My main concerns for Gerald’s were one, the length of the strip, the location of the strip. The proposed 500-meter or thereabout strip would put that strip probably in the shortest strip in the Caribbean.”

The STAL operation, he said, is a very critical operation requiring very experienced pilots and certain conditions. “It reduces the margin of safety, and this is in the manual of the particular aircraft,” he said.

He stated that using STAL aircraft means “that basically you’re flying very close to the edge of the operation enclosed of this aircraft. Any deviation in speed, windspeed…and you could run into problems.“

As an example, he used the recent crash on St. Barts. The aircraft in question was a STAL aircraft. “Obviously the pilot got into some difficulty which he could not handle, as a result 20 people lost their lives.”

“It is a very difficult and expensive operation when you are talking about airports. And when you are putting down a temporary strip, it is going to cost you money that is wasted, if you are not going to use that site again for an airport. So let us look at something which is more long-term, and a viable opposition which will serve the country a lot better.”

Mr. Burke said a 500-meter airport “would not be attractive to the scheduled carriers to come into Montserrat; therefore, it will not be generating any revenue for the country in terms of cargo operations, and in terms of local taxes, the government collecting landing fees, departure taxes, things like that, so that the airport could sustain itself. You’ll be more or less confining yourself to this area which is going to be temporary, when in fact, you may end up using it a for a long period.”

He conceded with the Editor of the Montserrat Reporter that yes, the aircraft would be flying over a populated area, putting not only the passengers at risk, but the people on the ground as well.

Member of the CRM Mr. Raymond Tyson said, “I think the Gerald’s project is doomed from the beginning, because there is no future development and Montserrat needs an infrastructure over a period of time. If we don’t have an airport or a runway, it’s like not having a telephone to the outside world. If this is going to be a temporary situation, then we going to end up with it being a permanent situation.” He said there are alternatives which the committee has looked at.

Mr. Julian Romeo of the CRM expressed his horror at the very idea of placing an airstrip at Gerald’s, temporary or not. “As far as CRM is concerned, we smell death.! We smell the death of human beings. We smell the death of a society, which is Gerald’s and the people of St. John’s, having to move them. We smell the economic death that would stench Montserrat for years, if we’re locked into this little room we have here…We smell total disaster for Montserrat as far as Gerald’s is concerned. And we want to let the people of Gerald’s know especially, and Montserrat, that we are behind not having an airport. ”

 

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

photo of potential airport site (2001)

photo of potential airport site (2001)

Is this appropriate today as it appeared in April 2001?

This is the continuation of the article presented in May 22, 2015 issue as captioned above. We continue the plan to highlight the plight that Montserrat faces as it still complains no proper transportation access to the island.

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Is that fair or does it simply require proper, firm presentation with only British Montserrat growth?

This is a crucial stage as we have lost already six years since UK/DFID acknowledged two mistakes, which they would do anything to make right. Follow that with Allan Duncan in 2011 three years later, who said his Government was prepared to do everything to put right the wrongs that had been done to Montserrat.

It seems that we should begin by forcing this Government to wake up and recognize the dream and the miracle now requires serious action, moving beyond the unchanged nepotism that continues to plague.

They should not continue to allow others to do the thinking for Montserrat, nor the agendas of many, individual though they may be, to be those that. It should be one agenda. All good is possible but research is critical.

Sir Hilary Beckles as he took on the Vice Chancellor role of the University of the West Indies, warns about the need for RESEARCH. ‘…all of the countries throughout the world that have managed to attain substantial growth have done it through industry and education, warning without good, applied research, there can be no innovation, and without innovation…developing partnerships in education, research and development is also imperative in this regard, he said.

I have been trying to pass this message of the need to research and gather information, just from the immediate past for our way forward, and so far deaf ears remain deaf, steeped in ignorance, picking up the corrupted rhetoric as they stagnate backward.

By Helena Durand

Vol. XVI No. 16 Friday,

04th April, 2001

Continued:

Mr. Eugene Skerritt, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works, told the Montserrat Reporter that a three-member team of Italian consultants is here assessing the Gerald’s site for the temporary airstrip. There were supposed to have been two teams, he said, but one was unable to come. The team here will also be looking at other sites, he said. However, “Gerald’s site is first because of the $10 million which we will get from the EU, if we use that site and have it finalized in time for July 1st.”

The Italians’ job reference, he said, also includes safety measures where the site is concerned. He said if the orientation is not correct, for instance if they find that there are “too much wind gusts and other mitigating factors, then there will be no accord. You could cut a flat piece of land any place, but it doesn’t mean it’s good for an airstrip.”

While here the team will meet the Chief Physical Planner, architects at the Public Works Department, officials at the MVO, and also fly to Antigua to talk with airlines there.

An airport with the facilities for landing a fixed-wing aircraft, likely a Dash 8 aircraft, may be more of a dream than most people realize, as the Committee for the Redevelopment of Montserrat (CRM) express their dissatisfaction with Gerald’s Park as a venue consideration.

The CRM met with two Montserratian pilots at the heliport earlier today to discuss the future of air access to the island in the near future. The pilots also met with government and the consultants and made some contributions to the discussion regarding air traffic in Montserrat. Both pilots, Tony Meade and Carl Burke, also recorded their serious reservations about the possibility of an airstrip, whether temporary or otherwise, being constructed at Gerald’s Park.

Montserratian pilots Karl Burke and Tony Meade - still flying for LIAT and farther afield

Montserratian pilots Karl Burke and Tony Meade – still flying for LIAT and farther afield

Mr. Burke told reporters at a press conference today that among concerns which haunt him about the proposed airstrip project at Gerald’s are, “When Dr. Lewis invited me down to have this discussions this morning, I realized that the government of Montserrat is committed to using its resources available to it to make a sensible decision and also an informed decision about an airport in Montserrat. The runway being proposed at this time is approximately 500 meters, which in the Caribbean is pretty much a short runway and requires a STAL aircraft to operate in and out of that airfield.” STAL, he, said means Short Takeoff And Landing.

“The main concern” he said, “was obviously the location, also the adjacent terrain and any other safety issues which we may have considered. One of the things that we focussed on was the turbulence in such a location, and in the final analysis, it was decided that an airport being on the northeastern or eastern side of the island would inherently have some form of turbulence.”

Mr. Meade noted, “My main concerns for Gerald’s were one, the length of the strip, the location of the strip. The proposed 500-meter or thereabout strip would put that strip probably in the shortest strip in the Caribbean.”

The STAL operation, he said, is a very critical operation requiring very experienced pilots and certain conditions. “It reduces the margin of safety, and this is in the manual of the particular aircraft,” he said.

He stated that using STAL aircraft means “that basically you’re flying very close to the edge of the operation enclosed of this aircraft. Any deviation in speed, windspeed…and you could run into problems.“

As an example, he used the recent crash on St. Barts. The aircraft in question was a STAL aircraft. “Obviously the pilot got into some difficulty which he could not handle, as a result 20 people lost their lives.”

“It is a very difficult and expensive operation when you are talking about airports. And when you are putting down a temporary strip, it is going to cost you money that is wasted, if you are not going to use that site again for an airport. So let us look at something which is more long-term, and a viable opposition which will serve the country a lot better.”

Mr. Burke said a 500-meter airport “would not be attractive to the scheduled carriers to come into Montserrat; therefore, it will not be generating any revenue for the country in terms of cargo operations, and in terms of local taxes, the government collecting landing fees, departure taxes, things like that, so that the airport could sustain itself. You’ll be more or less confining yourself to this area which is going to be temporary, when in fact, you may end up using it a for a long period.”

He conceded with the Editor of the Montserrat Reporter that yes, the aircraft would be flying over a populated area, putting not only the passengers at risk, but the people on the ground as well.

Member of the CRM Mr. Raymond Tyson said, “I think the Gerald’s project is doomed from the beginning, because there is no future development and Montserrat needs an infrastructure over a period of time. If we don’t have an airport or a runway, it’s like not having a telephone to the outside world. If this is going to be a temporary situation, then we going to end up with it being a permanent situation.” He said there are alternatives which the committee has looked at.

Mr. Julian Romeo of the CRM expressed his horror at the very idea of placing an airstrip at Gerald’s, temporary or not. “As far as CRM is concerned, we smell death.! We smell the death of human beings. We smell the death of a society, which is Gerald’s and the people of St. John’s, having to move them. We smell the economic death that would stench Montserrat for years, if we’re locked into this little room we have here…We smell total disaster for Montserrat as far as Gerald’s is concerned. And we want to let the people of Gerald’s know especially, and Montserrat, that we are behind not having an airport. ”