Safety assessment to be done on J.F Mitchell Airport
J.F Mitchell Airport
February 28, 2023

Safety assessment to be done on J.F Mitchell Airport

A safety assessment has to be conducted on the J.F Mitchell Airport in Bequia, before the resumption of any night landing at that airport in the Grenadines.

This was revealed in Parliament on Thursday, February 23, in response to a question which was asked by Opposition Leader, Dr Godwin Friday.

Friday, the Member of Parliament for the Northern Grenadines, asked the question of Minister of Urban Development, Energy, Airports, Seaports, Grenadines Affairs and Local Government, senator Julian Francis.

In the absence of Minister Francis, who is recovering from illness, Prime Minister Gonsalves provided the answer to the question. Gonsalves said night landing no longer takes place at the J.F Mitchell Airport as a result of “safety concerns about the precarious nature of the approach into that airport, and problems created by the deterioration and subsequent removal of electrical systems”.

He said further that there were “constant problems” with the lighting system at the airport such as the regular blow out of transformers, and problems with wiring.

“There were also concerns about the approach into the airport,” the Prime Minister explained.

“Some local airline pilots refused to fly into Bequia at nights,” he added.

“A safety assessment would have to be carried out at the airport before night landing can recommence.”

Gonsalves added if the safety assessment is satisfactory, consideration will then be given to address issues which will be necessary before night landing resumes.

Part of the question asked whether the government “has any intention or plan to reinstall the lights and other necessary equipment to enable night landing at the airport.”

The airport in Bequia is named after former Prime Minister, the late Sir James Mitchell and was officially opened in 1992.