Our Readers' Opinions
September 21, 2007
Is SVG ready for an international airport?


Editor: Over the years, I have been hearing talk about an international airport being built here in SVG. Well, finally, to my understanding, it is going to be built, but what is really going on? You are hearing so much talk yet you cannot see the actual construction of this so-called airport.{{more}}

They said that the airport should be completed by 2011, yet work should have already started. I studied some aeronautics in school, and, based on my studies, I don’t think that this airport would be finished by 2011. For airports of this sort to be built, there are so many complex processes that have to be done. Soil examinations have to be done to know how well the runway can withstand pressures of heavy aircraft. You have to test wind patterns and flight paths, just to name a few, and subject to correction, I have seen in diagrams that the airport will have a 9,000 ft runway. Well, this is the computer age. Smaller and older aircrafts are being replaced. Look at the highly new computerized Airbus A380 and the Boeing B787 Dreamliner. Many airports around the world are upgrading their terminals and making their runways longer, and it’s obvious that this 9,000 ft runway will not be able to withstand these and other existing aircraft.

Also, when this airport is completed, would it have all the latest technology such as Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS), ILS, Microwave landing system, VASI, PAPI etc. and would it meet all the requirements set by the FAA and ICAO? I really do hope so.

In conclusion, I am a regular traveller, and based on my studies and things that I have seen at large airports such as LAX, MIA, JFK, Tokyo-Narita, Singapore – Changhi, and even BGI in Barbados, I do not think that SVG is ready for an international airport. We will not have the traffic. We will still have to connect long-haul flights in Barbados, San Juan etc. For example, Virgin Atlantic flies to Barbados every day, carrying about 3-4 hundred passengers, using a B747. It will definitely not do so here.

Also, it will be very expensive to maintain such an airport here, and it is we, the taxpayers, who will have to pay the price. But I am a young person and I may be wrong, but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know this stuff.

Donald C.