Front Page
January 22, 2010
It’s a Trinidad Defence Force helicopter!

There was nothing sinister about the helicopter which landed at the E.T. Joshua airport early on Monday morning; it was making a scheduled fuel stop.{{more}}

Persons living in the vicinity of the airport had expressed concern on seeing and hearing what they termed “unusual, after-hour activity” at the airport on Monday, January 18.

However, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Hans King told Searchlight that the aircraft, which belongs to the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, was en route to Dominica to pick up that country’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerritt who was scheduled to join CARICOM colleagues for a meeting in the Dominican Republic (DR).

Skerritt, in his capacity as chairman of CARICOM, along with the heads of Government of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, The Bahamas and Jamaica, met with Haitian President René Préval and other members of his Cabinet on Monday.

The meeting was convened by King Juan Carlos I of Spain, in his capacity as Chairman of the European Union (EU), to discuss medium and long term plans for Haiti’s reconstruction.

Steve Francis, General Manager for Sol EC Ltd St Vincent, told SEARCHLIGHT that at about 9:30 p.m. last Sunday, a request was made of his company to supply fuel. However, the helicopter arrived very late and the process was delayed.

“I am not sure what sort of facilities are in Dominica, but this was a mid-point,” Francis explained.

Corsel Robertson, Director of Airports refuted ideas that the activity took place after the airport was closed.

“The lights being turned off doesn’t mean that the airport is closed – that is a wrong assumption,” Robertson told SEARCHLIGHT.

She confirmed that the airport was open until some time before 2 on Monday morning.

“Normally we don’t open that late unless we know we are expecting a flight,” she said, adding that she knew the fuel stops were going to be made.

“It’s nothing unusual,” said Robertson, adding that she had heard the rumours, which she described as “strange”.

“The flight should have arrived earlier. It was never expected to arrive that late, but it is something we do accommodate,” she said.