18 October, 2009


The extension to be constructed at the east of the Wallblake Airport is called a “Runway End Safety Area”.  The safety regulators have banned small jet aircraft from landing in 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.


  1. Don:

    Whose equipment is already on-site? Should indicate who got the contract. Has it already been awarded? Without funds being in place, or does the GoA claim to have necessary funding?

  2. Splendid!

    Better living through the persistent application of heavy machinery...

  3. Why are we spending $EC 10M (and, of course, it will be more than that before it is over) to land some jets?

    Has anyone demonstrated what AXA gets for this $10M expenditure, especially when we lack money for everything else?

    Does anyone share my strong suspicion that this is another "ego" project, to placate someone(s) who want to be able to land their fancy jets here? No earthly way that AXA actually gains money on this expenditure.

    Any idea what fees the jets pay to land here? We need about 10M of them to justify this nonsensical payment.

    Last question: who has the contract? Who is actually making money on this deal? C'mon, Don, let's get the information.

  4. It's not only about private jets. One of the major trends in commercial aviation is smaller jets going longer distances.

    At the top of the range is Boeing's new Dreamliner 787, which can easily fly point-to-point, non-stop, anywhere on the Earth's surface that there's a runway for it to land on. We'd have to develop Scrub Island for that to be applicable to Anguilla, though. :-).

    There are also the so-called "Jungle Jets" that Embraer makes. Or the ones that Bombardier of Canada makes, or those of any of a number of other firms. They are only marginally larger than the Gulstream G500s that are causing all the fuss above, and they have the range, or will soon, not just to fly from Puerto Rico, but from Maimi, non-stop, to Anguilla.

    It was even rumored that AA was going to replace their entire Caribbean fleet with planes like that -- certainly their pilot's union was up in arms about the possibility elsewhere -- but that was before the dot-com bubble popped, much less 9/11 and a threatened global depression.

    Technological progress is inexorable, even in the midst of a depression, and we're not even talking about the much smaller, "personal" jets that are starting to come on line that could add a whole new meaning to the phrase "air taxi".

  5. The heavy equipment belongs to Junior Fleming.

    He is supposed to be digging some experimental or exploratory pits to see if the marl available on site will be suitable. He is also doing site preparation.

    He was the only one willing to do it on credit.

  6. It was nice to see that at last someone have gotten at least one thing right. The pits are exploratory or test pits to determine what the soil conditions are within the site.

    As for the ownership of the heavy equipment a closer examination or just taking 5 mins to ask the the technical team that is in place would have revealed that a number of different contractors were used on site given the depths of the pits and the short time frame in which the test pits had to be done in.

  7. I hope no one is relying on information gotten from those pits. The ones nearest to the planned RESA is at least 100 yards to the north of it. The furthest is at least 200 yards away. There are none that I can find due east of the runway, where the actual RESA is.

  8. All of the test pits are in areas that have to be cut down to level as the RESA does consist on of the area directly in line with the runway.
    As I said in an earlier post all the information concerning the technical side of the construction of the RESA can be dsicussed with the technical team from MICUHAF and DoI. You can call or make an appointment to talk with them at anytime.

  9. Why is the annointed "technical team" sitting in their office waiting for me to come beg them for information. Why don't they simply put out an explanation of what they are doing about the RESA, who's doing the job, where the money came from when Victor said we didn't have it, and what the schedule is?

    I mean, just like they do in real countries.

  10. Why is so hard for you annoymous to pik up the phone of visit office is it because you are not intrested in the truth and interested in posting inuendos and half truths for what reason I can only imagine. The number is 497-2651 and the office is open from 8pm - 12pm and 1pm - 4pm Monday to Friday.

  11. To Anonymous of October 23, 2009 6:56 PM

    By “ real countries”, I guess you mean those where the government lies to the citizens about going to war, engages upon deliberate and secret policies of national cultural sabotage such as mass immigration, and steal from taxpayers to fund swank second homes, porn movies, horse manure, clean the moat surrounding the country mansion and employ family members as staff.

    Your“real countries” are behaving more like banana republics than the ”real” banana republics.

    If you have an opinion about how things should be done, or even if you want to bash the Government, go right ahead but don’t you start with your obviously anti-Anguillian rhetoric about“real countries”.

    Anguilla is as real a country as you will ever come across. On the same day or within a couple days you can go to the office and speak with the person in charge. Try doing that in your “real country”.

    Pick up the telephone.

    Signed: An Anguillian

  12. Whatever happened to this project? It was presented as an "emergency" that needed to be completed by Christmas, but haven't had any updates since the letter from Chris Bryant.


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