Mayaguana runway lights delayed by two weeks
ROYSTON JONES JR.
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: May 17, 2013
Emergency solar lights will be installed on the Mayaguana airport runway within another two weeks, according to Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin.
Yesterday made six weeks after Hanna-Martin pledged the government would install runway lights that had to be specially built within that time period.
“I had said about six weeks and we are a little off it and we are looking at another two weeks, but we are moving expeditiously to get this accomplished,” she told The Nassau Guardian.
“The lights were acquired through a tenure process with companies in the United States that provide solar lights.
“The company that was recommended has done business with The Bahamas before.
“It was approved by Cabinet, and we expect delivery in another two weeks, and then immediately on delivery we will install. But we are going to be working on the logistics of installation during the delivery time.
“We are not going to wait until they get here to figure it out. We are going to begin the ground work for the installation forthwith, in terms of identifying a firm who will do the work.”
Hanna-Martin said the government will outsource the installation contract to ensure it is completed in the shortest time possible.
“Ministry of Works [is] not going to be able to allocate the manpower to bring the urgency to that,” she said.
“It will be a Civil Aviation contract through the offices of the Ministry of Works.”
Hanna-Martin was unable to provide the exact cost of the runway lights and the subsequent installation.
The airport’s lights are not operational due to the American development company, I-Group’s ongoing work at the airport, according to government officials.
The mother, sister and brother-in-law of former Cabinet minister Sidney Collie were killed when a plane crashed into their truck on the runway of that airport on April 4.
They were using the truck to provide lighting for a LeAir plane to land.
The accident triggered widespread discussion over why some Family Island runways in The Bahamas still do not have lights.
Mayaguana administrator Charles Moss yesterday said while there have been a few emergency landings during the daytime, no emergency flights have been landed since the accident.
“As you’re aware, the airport is restricted to emergency flights, especially at night,” he said.
“It’s only the six-wing that would be allowed to land. During the daytime the airport is open to aircraft up to 3,600 pounds.”
He said residents in Mayaguana have bounced back since the incident, but the concern about the airport and its runway remains at the forefront of many residents’ minds.