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Minister says equipment delay slowed airport work

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: Oct 09, 2013

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Work on the Mayaguana airport has been delayed due to an equipment malfunction, Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin said yesterday.

“There has been some dialogue about some issues about the quality of materials used on the project,” Hanna-Martin said at a press conference.

“Where we are now is, we are at the paving stage, which is the final stage. However, there has been an equipment malfunction, so a part had to be purchased. I’m told it’s 350 pounds, which has been purchased and is being transported to Nassau.”

She said once it arrives in New Providence the part has to be transported to Mayaguana.

Hanna-Martin was reluctant to give a timeline for the project’s completion and pointed out that it is dependent on when the part arrives.

Tim Haffner, project manager for the I-Group’s Mayaguana Management Company, said yesterday the expected completion date is mid-November.

The minister said once the part arrives on Mayaguana, the paving exercise would take about two weeks.

She said she hoped that the project would have been completed before now.

“But you are dealing with the private sector, the Ministry of Works and then the machine has broken down,” she said. “So all of these things have affected it, but we expect that this would be quickly resolved.”

Work on the airport began shortly after the mother, sister and brother-in-law of former Cabinet Minister Sidney Collie were killed when a LeAir plane crashed into their truck on the runway at that airport in April.

Police said they were inside one of two trucks that were using their high beams to guide the nine-seater plane onto the runway, a long-standing practice at the airport at night.

The two trucks were stationed on each side of the runway to light the plane’s path as the airport had no lighting.

The lights were not functioning because of the I-Group’s ongoing work, MICAL MP V. Alfred Gray said.

Under the I-Group agreement, the developers are responsible for the refurbishment of the airport and runway.

The government purchased emergency lights after a tendering process, and has said it will purchase permanent lights.

Hanna-Martin said the ministry has permanent solar lights in storage, which will be installed once the runway is completed.

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