No significant delay expected from dug up runway – Matthias
June 3, 2014

No significant delay expected from dug up runway – Matthias

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has assured that the digging up of a section of runway at the Argyle International airport will not interfere with the progress of the project.

In recent months, it was reported by local media {{more}}that a section of runway at the Argyle international airport had been dug up because it had failed to meet international standards.

In response to a question posed in Parliament on Thursday, Gonsalves explained why it was necessary for the section of the runway to be dug up.

According to Gonsalves, the design for the runway was done by a team of Cuban engineers and the design was in accordance with the international standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“In accordance with these international…standards, the designs for the runway require that the solid base in the sub grade layer of the airport must have the following characteristics: modified proctor compaction percentage 100 per cent; California bearing ratio (CBR), more than 50 per cent; liquid lay (LL), less than 25 per cent; plasticity index (IP), less than 6 per cent,” the Prime Minister said in his technical explanation.

Gonsalves added that there is a functioning quality assurance unit at the Argyle international airport, which carries out regular inspections to ensure that the work being done meets the international standards.

He further stated that the unit had observed that something was wrong with that particular section of the runway.

“You will do the work, but if there are problems with it where the quality assurance unit through the lab looks at it and makes an interpretation that this does not meet the required standards. They simply have to do one thing. Dig it up and do it over. And that is what happened. Mr Speaker, I have said publicly that it should be a matter of comfort to the people of this country to know that there is a quality assurance unit addressing the quality of the work which is being done,” the Prime Minister said.

“What is happening is that the team, which is doing that, is doing that work while other work is being done. And I’ve been assured by the chief executive officer (Dr Rudy Matthias) that it will not have any significant impact on the overall progress of the work,” Gonsalves said.

In addition, Gonsalves noted that this type of situation can be likened to when a road or house is being built, because if there is an issue while construction is going on, contractors will have to go back and fix the problem.

He also declared that the airport is expected to be substantially completed by the end of 2014, so that airport operations can begin in the first half of 2015.(BK)