January 23, 2009
Argyle airport officials to watch bird flight patterns

The flight patterns of the birds at Milligan Cay in Argyle are going to be closely monitored by experts from Cuba.

This announcement was made by Chairman of the International Airport Development Company (IADC) Dr Rudy Matthias, in the wake of the US Airways plane crash into the Hudson River in New York on Thursday, January 15.{{more}}

The crash of the plane, which was headed to Charlotte, North Carolina from New York’s La Guardia Airport, with 155 passengers on board, was caused by a flock of Canadian Geese, which shut out the plane’s engines.

Dr Matthias made mention of the crash when he made the announcement about the work of the environmentalists from the Cuban Environmental Agency, saying that bird flight pattern monitoring is part of the reality for international airports around the world.

Meanwhile, Dr Matthias said that the IADC is working closely with the National Trust, who received three archaeologists to work on archaeological excavations in the Escape area, which will be part of the Cultural Heritage Plan, drawn up by the National Trust and funded by the IADC.

The excavation is aimed at retrieving and documenting the archaeological artefacts discovered during earthworks in the area, which is believed to be a pre-historic habitation site.

Archaeologist Joe Moravetz of the Bison Historical Services Limited, who is also attached to the University of Calgary, told SEARCHLIGHT that he is excited about what is being discovered at the site being excavated.

“This is a very important large scale excavation…the site is extremely rich,” said Moravetz, who has been an archaeologist for 20 years.

Moravetz said that one of the discoveries expected to be made is that of posts holes, which will show where the actual habitations were, which he said would be “unique in the Caribbean region.”

When he addressed the media, Moravetz said that the artefacts that are being discovered are from civilizations dating back up to 2000 years and are mostly in the form of pottery.

“We have seen a lot of this pottery come up during the course of construction,” Moravetz.

“Without a doubt, St Vincent is very rich archeologically. What is interesting is that the first people to have come in to St Vincent that carried pottery, dates back to nearly two thousand years ago,” he said.

Meanwhile, the fate of the petroglyphs which are in the path of the runway of the new airport remains a mystery.

President of the National Trust, Kathy Martin, said that the National Trust will do all that is possible to protect the petroglyphs, but admitted that plans to safely cut out the ancient markings remain uncertain. (KJ). See also page 30.