Argyle International Airport in St. Vincent within a year? Not going to happen!

Reader sends photos, weighs in on discussion

Mention was made in your article American Eagle pullout from Puerto Rico hits Barbados hard, of the completion of Argyle International Airport in St. Vincent within a year. This is impossible… construction drags on in fits and starts. Here are photos taken two days ago, April 9, 2011.

click for large

I am not an expert by any means, but does it matter that it is aligned almost due north with the Trade Winds coming in crosswind from the side? The pilots and airport followers may like to comment.

To build an international airport in this economic climate is no joke! But I suppose it helped to win a recent election.

Cheers!

Lennox

Thanks to another reader, we see this on the website of the airport development company

Constructing the Argyle International Airport: Where are we?

Due to a delay in the start of construction work on the Argyle International Airport Passenger Terminal Building the completion date for the airport has been moved from mid 2012 to mid 2013 when the airport is now expected to be completed and operationalize.

Construction work on the terminal building was scheduled to commence in August of 2010. A tender for its construction was issued on 7th June 2010, but for a variety of reasons, no tender was received by the appointed time for submission of tender.

The Board of Directors subsequently approved the awarding of a contract for the construction of the terminal building to the Taiwanese firm, Overseas Engineering and Construction Company Ltd. (OECC). This contract is worth US$25,094,530.00 and covers construction of the terminal building, electrical substation, internal and external signage, and related preliminaries.

Contractual negotiations with OECC are now finalized and work is due to begin in April 2011.

The IADC will, at some stage this year, enter into contracts with other private firms for the construction of the Fire and Rescue Station, Cargo Terminal Building and Control Tower.  However, IADC has decided to do the site works, internal roads, drains and parking areas, using resources already at its disposal.

Meanwhile, as the IADC prepares for the start of construction of the terminal building the pace of the earthworks has picked up to keep the airport on schedule to begin operations by mid-2013. With more than half of the earthworks having been completed, the Chatoyer-Che Contingent is looking to complete most of the remaining earth works by the end of this year. These works include: (a) the continuation of construction of the runway, aprons and taxiways, (b) preparation of the area for the construction of the cargo terminal building, fire and rescue station, and control tower, (c) construction of the culvert in the first kilometre of the runway, (d) commencement of construction work on the culvert for the Yambou River, and (e) work on the sea defenses, at the North-eastern end of the runway.

 

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53 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

53 responses to “Argyle International Airport in St. Vincent within a year? Not going to happen!

  1. Green Monkey

    Given that crosswind layout for the runway, the plane spotters will probably be flocking there to make videos to post on Youtube.

    Like this one, for example :

  2. These things cost $$$!

    OMG!
    Talk about Go around! GO AROUND!!

    Did you notice the full thrust suddenly applied?
    Of course you did…

    ______________________________________
    Two decades ago when I used to frequent SVD to the point where I was almost a local
    plans for that runway were to have it aligned a lot more Easterly,
    but that would have entailed the removal of a substantial hill at Diamond.
    That kinds construction/destruction stuff costs Moooolah!
    C.O.W. woulda hold a small wuk for awhile.

    Obviously decisions were taken to go with less hill-removal
    in trade-off for accepting cross-wind conditions for life.

    In winter, when ambient winds tend to be a bit more Northerly, it might work passably
    but one fears a poor decision has been made.
    It boils down to what they can afford, innit?

  3. just like to know

    I am a Vincentian and this airport at Argyle appalls me. Why couldn’t the airport at Arnos Vale be used, reclaimed land from the sea. A lot of Vincentians living overseas has been saying this, why ? why ? why?. The winds at Argyle are tremendous, only God knows how this going to work out, and not be an Albatross around the locals neck, and the cost of running it. They need an extended airport, but many believe the position is not right. The PM is a bigot, does not listen to reason, and crushing the poor people of St.Vincent.

  4. what will they think of next

    Adrian is always passing off his opinions as facts. “I wonder too if policymakers have fully taken into account the impact and consequences of the new SVG Argyle International Airport scheduled to open in less than a year”.

    “In less than a year”, indeed Adrian.

  5. Adrian Loveridge

    ‘The project broke ground on August 13, 2008 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2012′.

    Has anyone noticed the Qatar Airlines aircraft on the ground at GAIA
    amd what connection is there with Argyle Airport?

  6. J. Payne

    If they get an “International Airport” done in one year I’d have to question the integrity of that structure. The only that that may help is if they planned some kinda pre-fabricated structure that is just going to be floated in almost ready made?

  7. Anonymous

    Dont believe anything Ralph Gonzalves say he and Owen Arthur had it out when Owen accuse he of not doing enough to stop flow of drugs from the drug den thats St. Vincent. Then plenty women accuse he of raping them now he blatantly telling lies about some international airport. That photo of the airport look like a primitive clearing in the Columbia jungle cleared by the Medellin cartel for cocaine runs.

  8. Dennis

    I am 35 years old and i believed many of you all are older than i do. And i am vincentian to for all these years there were other governments in power in our country and no one had the balls to take on such a project as this.I am so proud to know that i can tell many of my friends in canada who ask me from time to time about going to my island on vacation .That there is an international airport will be finishing soon and the can go on vacation @ any time they want.I am proud of the comrade hi gat balls . we must pray for the man and stop bringing him down like that God Bless St vincent and the grenadines.

  9. positive

    well nice dennis… hope it all works out for you and your vacation…

    I have been to st. vincent on countless times … well umm well over 200 times and in recent years the people are talking about the “international airport”. but please note, building an international airport doesn’t mean that all kind of planes going to just show up at your place. you must understand the logisitics of this, you have to actually get airlines to come to you airport, and guarantee them that each empty seat they have you ( the government) will pay for. that is the only way they will come.

    now honestly, I wish the people of st. vincent all the best, because it ain’t going to be cheap. don’t think cause you have sand and sea that british airways and american airlines going to rush on by you. you need to have the people to fill these planes when they come to your place.

  10. Dennis

    Thanks to all the people of who Barbados,who are for and who are against St vincent and the grenadines airport . At the end of the day we are all one people in the region,the things that separates us is our selfish ways how we think of other islands in the region. if there is a disaster in the region where there is no way to help the people of St vincent, the international community may have to used G.A.I.A . May be the other way around the A.I.A. may have to be a hub to help the people of Barbados or another island like grenada, st lucia. so lets support the people of st vincent thank you.

  11. Dheo

    Why is “Barbados Free Press” commentimng so heavily on an international airport in St.vincent and the Grenadines? Could it be that an international airport in SVG could seriously impact Barbados’ revenue base? Just asking…

  12. Tom Adams and Union Island

    @ Dheo could it be its because BFP thinks tons of SVG marijuana will now come to Barbados not only by boat but by air also.

  13. Dheo

    That’s least of your worries. There is more customs control by air than there is by fishing boats.

  14. There is a someone who talk about reclaiming land from the sea,I remember as a little boy our saint boats used to pull up right infront my grand mothers house in LAYOU or behind my grandfather,s gas station now there is nothing there,if we are lucky the sea would not take my grandmother,s house she die and leave for her family to enjoyed,do you people know when you back that wather off it goes some where else,and if you don,t know take a drive and go to LAYOU and you would see.

  15. Dave allen

    After having lived & worked on st vincent for 4 years on the buccament bay project. All i can say is its a beautiful unspoilt island. But i can guarantee its going to be a while before you see a virgin atlantic 747 with 400 passengers onboard fly in. St vincent has a lot to be developed & the main reason i see tourists flying in here are for the white sanded grenadine islands. However the airport will encourage tourists and in time st vincent will be holiday destination for most.
    As for the comment above regarding extending the runway into the sea. Keep on dreaming mate. Where do you intend to place 10+ Commercial Jets? Carparking? Ground handling equipment? It would’ve cost more to build the airport there. However i dont see the Argyle airport taking off for the next two years.

  16. 222

    build it fast

  17. Observing

    Gonzalves will the execution of Gaddaffi impact the airport will the money from your dictator buddies dry up?

  18. Anonymous

    all yo ever hear bout supporting towards one goal, instead of bashing and pulling down

  19. 90

    what is wrong with these people with these negative things lord help us
    why are we so far back.please show me your your deploma from yale and
    i will believe any thing you have to say about our international air port and the wind are you people for real

  20. KEN

    I THINK YOU JEALOUS OF SVG HAVING OUR OWN INT/L AIRPORT DUE TO THE REAL REASON THAT BARBADOS WILL LOSE THE REVENUES THAT NATIONALS AND OTHER VISITORS TO SVG SPEND AT YOUR AIRPORT FOR HOURS IF NOT HALF DAY WAITING FOR A LIFT IN LIAT KITES TO SVG…..THANK GOD THAT WILL SOON END COME 2014 AND BEYOND…NO MORE RIPPING OFF AND THE ATTITUDE OF SOME OF THE WORKERS AT THE OPERATING DESKS WHO TREAT VINCENTIANS & OTHER VISITORS LIKE THEY ARE BEGGERS OR SCRUNGERS BEGGING FOR A RIDE HOME…

  21. Kenroy

    We had some pass Government who never tried to build an international airport. I honestly think we need a proper mordern airport. By the way SVG hav the worst airport in the OECS. So lets support our country

  22. KEN

    That is true as those previous never had a vision to develop the country although they wasted resources and sold some of the country assets for their own greed nevertheless the present Government shows and prove to many negative doubters that SVG will have an International Airport. The past is the past so as you rightly state lets support our country and the ruling Government (ULP) They are doing and making us all proud regardless the negatives of those on the opposite side which is a blatant shame…

  23. 66

    just wait till they it done. Then we can start to comment

  24. Chris

    Its interesting to read some of the crap people were posting on this blog about the construction of an International Airport in SVG. A lot of focus is on the PM of SVG, either he is this or that. The majority of persons makings negative comments about the Prime Minister or the Contruction of the airport is either blinded by political biasness or just bent on spreading wild gossip. The fact is an airport is being constructed, all Vincentians should rally around the cause. We caribbean people in our little villages surrounded by sea must stop pulling each other down.

  25. Kenneth

    VERY WELL SAID…. IT IS A PITY THAT THE BRAINLESS, DECEPTIVE, AND VISIONLESS PEOPLES OF THE CARIBBEAN INCLUDING THOSE IN OPPOSITIONS IN NATIVE SVG CANNOT ONE DAY WAKE UP, AND WISE UP, TO THE FACT THAT FINALLY SVG WILL BE HAVING THE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT….LIKE IT OR NOT…..
    THESE PEOPLE ARE DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY THEN PRETENDING THEY LOVE SVG…I HAVE A NAME FOR THEM THE “PREYING MANTIS”…yOU NEVER KNOW MAYBE THESE BLIND VINCIES WILL BE ADVISE NOT TO USE THE AIRPORT OR LAND IN ANY PLANES THAT TERMINATE AT THE ARGYLE INT/L AIRPORT LIKE THEY WERE ADVISED NOT THE DRIVE ON THE RABACCA BRIDGE OR EVEN USE IT.. WHAT A MESS THE SO CALLED POLITICAL CROCODILES HAVE THEIR FOLLOWERS….WATCH OUT POSITIVE VINCIES THOSE SOCALLED LEADERS WILL LEAD THESE BLIND ONES LIKE THAT RELIGOUS GROUP IN GUIANA MANY YEARS AGO TO DRINK BANANA WINE. (FOLLOW YOUR LEADER..LATTER DAY SAINTS) THEY COMMIT SUICIDE AND DIED LIKE FLIES…REMEMBER THEY WERE ALL BLIND UP TO THEIR DEATHS….

  26. Alexander DeFreitas

    Iwill MAKE IT SHORT.WHEN THE AIRPORT IS FINISHED.ANY NDP POLITIANS AND SUPPORTERS WANTS TO TRAVEL ABROAD.TAKE A
    TAKE A FISHING TO GRENADA OR ST.LUCIA AND BUY A ONE WAY
    TICKET.

  27. Ken

    A VERY GOOD IDEA. BUT KNOWING THE HYPROCRITES THEY WILL BE FIRST ONES TO GET TO THE AIRPORT..THEY CANT SWIM AND ARE AFRAID OF DROWNING. SO THEY WILL NEVER CHANCE IT IN A BOAT…..HAHAHA…

  28. who have eye let them see

  29. 64

    so how will the pick up if fools like you all chanting shit bout who is n d p or ulp green party let me ask when god made us did he stomp a ulp or ndp much less to say green party stomp on our foreheads??well for those of you who didn’t know the answer no he didn’t we all need a job money and most of all to get home safely with everything intact my advise to the haters of either parties stop being a pussy hole

  30. 124

    90 I don’t need a diploma from anywhere to tell you about winds and crosswind landing. I fly airplanes so I can tell you first hand that executing a crosswind landing is no fun and can be very dangerous. The north South orientation of the runway means that there will be a life-time crosswind. I do wish them all the best…hope i get to land there some day.

  31. Ken

    FLYING A PLANE OR BEING ABLE TO DO SO DOES NOT QUALIFY YOU AS AM AVIATION ENGINEER OR AN EXPERT IN THE FIELD OF DIFFERENT WINDS…HAVING A DRIVERS LICENSE TO DRIVE ALL KINDS OF VEHICLES DOES NOT QUALIFY ANY DRIVER TO SUDDENLY BECOME AN EXPERT IN ROAD CONSTRUCTION ENGINEER…A GOOD DRIVER USES HIS SKILLS UNDER ALL CONDITIONS BE IT DRIVING A MOTORCAR, BUS, TRAIN OR A PLANE (AS IN YOUR CASE A PLANE).

  32. Patriot

    Vincentians why cant we wake up? Anyone who travels a lot will tell you how
    badly we are treated in countries like Barbados etc when we want to get home.
    you are guaranteed to be kept in the airport waiting for hours! you need food you need drink even if you only spend five US ( Barbados OFICIAL currency) it all go to the Bajan economy that can be spent at home.
    Cant wait for our airport to finnish!
    And finally all the people who are against it are the ones who want to go around saying I spent X amount of hours in Barbados before flying to SVG.
    braggarts I have a friend who is just like that.
    Go Way ! let the airport come!!

  33. Ken

    Hi Patriot….Well said could not have said better….I can assure you we are getting our long awaited Int/l Airport and believe me. many of the doubters are lining up to see the reality of it all…..Those 2 faced jumbies watch out for them..trust me matey…

  34. Anonymous

    Tourist when booking their vacation will no longer be fooled by destination Barbados and the Grenadines it will be St. Vincent and the Grenadines. They had a free ride for years using the Grenadines as if it is theirs all that will stop when our international airport is built. God bless SVG.

  35. Canadian tourist

    look forward to the new airport..Flying LIAT (Leave Island Any Time ) is a joke and way too expensive from Barbados..I enjoy vacationing in SVG and this will make the Island grow..

  36. 135

    Ilive in England most of my life and travel to SVG every year. It’s amazing that when we leave England and reach in Barbados all of a sudden our bags becomes heavy and we have to pay more money to get our bags on Liat. The staff in Barbados treats Vincentian as though we haven’t got a brain. We have waited long enough for our own International Airport. Hope that our joy comes soon and that we give St Vincent our hard earn cash and not to the rude ground staff in Barbados.

  37. Anthony

    I am concerned that although SVG has been independent for some time, the level of education has not improved. I take this view because of the rubbish that some of our fellow citizens will put forward as constructive arguments. The discussions on the Argyle airport project here and on radio lead me to believe that there are folks who express opinions which have only teneous links with the facts of the matter. If anyone takes a view that we collectively should stand back and see the woods from the trees, so to speak, they are labelled as un-patriotic or haters of the ULP government and its leaders. No one doubts that a case for the airport can be made, but equally, unless we wish to bury our collective heads in the sand, we should be able to accept that there are serious issues with the construction, viability, and future uses of the airport. I am one of the frustrated travellers who have to go via Barbados to get to SVG with the attending bad treatment that most of us endure when we do so, but that is not a reason to build a costly airport, that would be like cutting off our noses to spite our face if this project proves to be a white elephant. Let us put aside the technical questions and address the financial issues.

    Airports fund themselves largely through taxes levied on airlines in the form of landing fees, sales of goods and services to these airlines and their passengers etc. Unless we can guarantee a certain level of landings and passenger numbers, the airport cannot sustain itself. Who then will make up the shortfall in funding if there are no such guarantees? (please crystal ball owners, enlighten me) I would wager that it will be the taxpayers of……you guessed right….SVG, I put these points forward, not because I am not in favour of the airport, but to point out that we all need to raise our game when it comes to these discussions, and not to dismiss opinions that we do not agree with as somehow been politically motivated (ULP or NDP or GREEN supporters are all guilty of this). If we cannot do this then far from been patriotic we just show ourselves to be ignorant fools.

  38. J chalmers

    Having been a visitor to your beautiful island the last three years while you are building your airport you need to seriously upgrade your hotels and apartment accommodation for all these tourists you hope will come you have put plane load of 400 people they can’t all go to buccament bay if it still exists by then

  39. Anthony

    Do not worry about the non-existant accomodation, worry about the hopelessy inadequate road system which will have to cope with 300-400 passengers that the ‘build it and they will come’ pie in the sky, rose tinted glasses brigade, have not even begun to address.

  40. J chalmers

    You are so right and I had intended to point that out also I travel all over in friends van and roads dreadful and Kingstown need makeover too

  41. Bond

    You are all such a bunch of negative pessimistic doom and gloom merchants!!…….its no wonder black people have not progressed.Be happy for St Vincent.At least its a positive step in the right direction.Stop all this inter island hate crap……thats boring now……..move on

  42. ronnie

    whats up with all the haters …..our airport soon finish just time we love you mr pm .good work thank you

  43. 85

    i am not against an international airport, but can we pass international standards? what about the hospitals? if there is a incident at argyle (God forbid) how many ambulances, fire trucks have you? and other resources like ultra scans, MRI scan

  44. Kenneth A Child

    Hi fellow Vincentians, It’s great our International Airport is on its way. Stop the negativity and work positively. Why should we expect our Government to do it all? Are we expecting foreign businesses to come in and build our SVG for us? We need all the amenities of a growing nation! Yet we are not thinking of collectively working together and get started on one project at a time. We can be assured that foreigners will come and build; but only when the ‘’price is right’’ for their bottom line.I

  45. J chalmers

    I have commented on this subject before but worth saying once again you need to upgrade your island to 5 star standard that means your roads your hotels apartments and clean up Kingstown make your beaches more access able and better signs for your places of interest if you don’t its no good having an international airport with no passengers a rival airline to Liat would have been a better idea and for goodness sake do something to improve your postal service.It takes at least 3 weeks for a letter to arrive at the post office and unless I pay extra for parcels to be signed for they often never arrive I have lost six parcels over the last 4years.last Christmas it took 5weeks for a little girl to receive her gifts sent at end November I was told Liat gives priority to passengers and only carry mail if there is room.all the money that has been spent on the airport so far would have gone a long way to put all these things right and tourism will take off and everyone will benefit not the handful involved at Buccament Bay.

  46. 142

    Oh yes, the planes will be filled and airlines will line up to come. Chalmers. you still mailing letters, last time I check we were in the year 2013. St. Vincent is not as bad as u say. Let me start with Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana… did someone say high crime. I felt very comfortable walking the streeets, going to clubs and just liming wearing the same clothing and jewerly i wear in New York. As for the beaches, they are very beautiful and u dont have to go to Buccament Bay to have a good time. Its so sad to see ur own people dont believe in their little island. I can’t wait til this airport is done and it will be done.
    Morlisa

  47. Good luck to the people of St. Vincent with their new airport. I think those with negative comments would prefer if the project did not work. How sad!
    I am from the Bahamas, where, in Nassau, we just built a brand new $400 million airport and it has already led to increased airlift. Even in these recessionary times, the new airport and other infrastructural upgrades are paying off nicely.

    We should all applaud st. vincent’s bold move and get away from the petty politics that seems to motivate some critics.

    One question I am not sure of is the funding model being used for the new airport. The new Nassau international airport has not cost the taxpayer a penny, since it is all financed by user fees and the increased airlift/passenger numbers ensure it will be paid off quickly by the private management company.

  48. Searson

    Is there any date for the opening of the Airport. I can’t seem to find any actual date. Does anyone out there know!! please.

  49. 114

    god bless our honourable Dr Ralph Gonsalves he had the vision and guts to stand up to all the negative trash dealt to him as if he would be lostin the dust , sea blast etc, malgon

  50. calliaqua

    In all our comments blaming Barbados for our delays and stay over. Why is Liat left out? Is LIAT get a cut back from Barbados? My friends Liat is the culprit and not the people of Barbados.

  51. gigsaw

    just like to know; i remeber Sir James saying at one time if they want him to extend Arnose vale airport by building it on colloms out into the sea.Then he turn arround and say that arnos vale should be extended instead og building a new airport.

  52. Anonymous

    i think its a verv good idea i cant wait to visit

  53. Let me see… This article was published when? *scrolls back to confirm* April 12, 2011. It’s now January 30, 2014… Guess the author was correct. It’s been more than a year, and the airport still isn’t finished! PM Gonsalves should just give the people a realistic timeline instead of just saying “next year”, every year.

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