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Airport Impact study should have been done earlier - Maduro

Edmund Maduro says impact study should have been done previously. Photo: VINO/File.
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Outspoken Talk Show host, Edmund Maduro, feels that the environmental impact assessment study conducted for the airport extension project should have been done much earlier.

Maduro told Virgin Islands News Online that “the way the government went about the whole thing has caused the delay.” 

“There were a number of people whom they [government] could call for varying reasons,” he noted, but they chose not to do so. Maduro felt this should have been done considering the importance of the issue. 

There is also the issue of difficulties with landing to be considered, the Talk Show host explained. There are a “number of insurance companies we may have to pay… because of the danger of landing,” he said. 

Maduro also mentioned that the government’s studies and everything else determined that it was a good idea. This would be “good for the tourist industry,” he added. 

On the other hand, he noted, there have been at least two incidents where airports have been built [in] dangerous circumstances. 

The whole thing is “leadership, commonsense and all those things.” 

He was uncertain of the reason for any “rush” and said “any development taken at rush usually ends up being bad.” “All pros and cons are [not considered properly]”. 

He expressed that there were still concerns after speaking with some local pilots about international standards being implemented correctly for the project. “That might well be one of the reasons for the delay [with the impact study],” he concluded. 

Maduro also felt the project has been gone about in a rush without the supporting studies being done correctly.   

Airport expansion project 

Two meetings were held in March 2012, where Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Hon. Kedrick Pickering announced that Government will be going ahead with the expansion of the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport.

Residents were informed that Government was leaning towards option six, which will cost about $38M. With this option, the runway will be extended to some 7,000 feet from 4,000 plus feet, and accommodate AB 390, 320 and the Embrea 190. 

It is also expected to reduce the environmental impact, which would save the salt pond and beaches in the area, reduce crosswinds, and accommodate code C and D aircrafts. 

However, the disadvantages include higher weather minimums- meaning jets would have to use a height of about 1,290 feet and the runway must be visual, as well as the circling approach. 

The concerns included whether future widening will have an environmental impact on Trellis Bay and the salt ponds.

12 Responses to “Airport Impact study should have been done earlier - Maduro”

  • FlyByNight (29/08/2012, 08:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    He's right - any development made with this kind of rush is in serious danger of embedding flaws that can't be undone.
    I still wondering:
    a) Why the hell Doc spend so much money on expert advise on the best angles for a runway, ignore all that advise completely and decide to make one up he self. Of course the option he 'decided upon' is the one he made up, which no expert recommended because it was considered too dangerous and destructive.
    b) He's using statistics not observation to back up his Option. Numbers can fool you. He claims the angle he chose is best because most wind comes from the E so there will be less dangerous cross wind. Statistics show this is true but most of those are light summer winds. The dangerous winds are the strong NE and N winds we get in winter. So while he claims his homebrew runway is safer because E winds are most common, he making an airport that will be most dangerous in the windy winter months, just when tourists will be arriving, too.
    Orlando need to step in a stop this craziness ASAP.
    • UNDER THE BUS (29/08/2012, 09:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      you all could jump high and jump low this is a DONE DEAL
      • fast track (29/08/2012, 11:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        that is what many said about the Ports project but not so fact yall
  • talk girl talk (29/08/2012, 09:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    pickering whites friends are against this project so its trouble for the NDP as they are loved ans supported by the whites!
    • well meh boy (29/08/2012, 10:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Stop trying to turn this into a white man issues. The person behind of this is actually a Saudi Arabia. ANd as far as I recall the NDP was supported by the people as they were elected by such and yes it is my belief that the people made an incorrect choice when they elected NDP by a landslide, a constitutional majority IS NEVER A GOOD THING. But my question is: why hasn't the opposition said a word about this project.
      • rodent (29/08/2012, 10:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Your last questions possible answer: With something of this magnitude you have to stuff the pockets of the politicians of both parties.
      • dead man walking (29/08/2012, 10:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        opposition please dem dead so long we are waiting on the new party!!
        • well meh boy (29/08/2012, 17:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          @Rodent and dead man walking, I agree with you guys whole heartedly.
  • rodent (29/08/2012, 09:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I wonder, lets say a jetliner is told to circle the airport and in St Thomas another jetliner is told the same.
    Probably not a big deal with radar and all that.
  • Confucius (29/08/2012, 11:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    For once, Mr. Maduro is absolutely right.

    The speed with which this government is processing major projects is frightening and a recipe for disaster in my opinion. If this airport is actually built as they intend, I (and many others) will continue to fly in and out of St. Thomas.

    It's interesting that the height of tourist season is the precise time when we need the best possible landing conditions ~ yet is the least likely to offer same. I wonder how many aborted landings and expensive circles above the airport, waiting for a window of opportunity to land it will take before the airlines start canceling their scheduled flights into the BVI?

    They will likely opt for the safer routes to St. Thomas, Puerto Rico or St. Maarten ~ and we will be no further ahead than we are now ~ but a lot poorer.
  • ABC (29/08/2012, 12:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Please!STOP. The $38 million which is being spoken about is for public consumption only. Realisticly, the minimum figure is more like $150 million and if a portion of the run way is to be built on piles, then the figure goes up to $200 million.
    Intresting enough, Jet Blue promised to execute a low pass using the existing alignment which should have happened in Janurary. We are still waiting for that exercise to be carried out. Of greater concern is the fact that not a single carrier other that Jet Blue has expressed the slightest interest in flying into Beef Island. We speak of Invironmental Impack Study, but has there been an attempt to do a Cost Benefit Analysis to determine whether or not we are throwing good money after bad?
    There can be no doubt in the mind of any rational thinking person, that this is simply an ego trip on the path of the Minister and a few of his followers. One cannot blame Wilson for grasping an opportunity to earn $180, thousandd a year for two years. However I would certainly lay the blame at the feet of Dr. Smith who has given Pickering a free reign to spend without counting the cost.
    When all is said and done, will the jets come. Trust me, our saving grace is that broke Treasury and the FCO.

  • ooooo (29/08/2012, 12:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    kedric aka dr done deal just wants his signature on it to say that it was his project...i say think it out carefully and let it start in 2015

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