18 October, 2009
The extension to be constructed at the east of the
is called a “Runway End Safety Area”. The safety regulators have banned small jet aircraft from landing in Wallblake Airport Anguilla until the required RESA has been put in place. Many of Anguilla’s richest visitors arrive for their vacations in such small jets. The upcoming Christmas tourism season will be adversely impacted if we do not complete this construction in time.
Wikipedia has a good explanation what a RESA is all about.
Government is quite desperate to have the RESA built in time for the upcoming tourism season. They are not even waiting until it is announced that the British Government has agreed to the necessary borrowing of funds to finance the project. Word came to me that Government has already begun awarding the contracts for the construction to heavy-equipment operators.
Someone sent me some photographs of the work that has begun. The photos were taken today, Sunday. They give some idea of the extent of the work that will have to be done, and what has been started so far.
Photo of the eastern end of the runway, indicating the steep drop-off that will have to be filled and graded
Another photo of the eastern end of the runway showing the steep drop-off
Someone has started to move a lot of heavy equipment on site.
More heavy equipment
Yet more heavy equipment
The bush east of the runway is being cleared
Land is being cleared and holes are being dug to extract marl and boulders
Huge amounts of fill will have to be moved from higher up the hillside to create the safety area lower down
Holes are being dug in several places, and the marl piled up
Rumour has it that Government expects to fill in the steep drop-off to the east of the airport for the sum of EC$10 million.
It looks to me like it will cost much more than that.