Work on the Argyle International Airport continued throughout 2009 with significant progress being made. Even in the face of limited equipment, members of the Chatoyer-Che Contingent were able to keep the work rolling at a commendable pace. This pace picked up tremendously in October and November with the arrival of two additional Motor Scrapers and 12 used trucks that were previously owned by the British Army. This addition of heavy equipment to the existing fleet allowed the workers to end the year one week ahead of schedule and with 30% of the total earthworks completed.
This included a tremendous volume of work in the 1st kilometer of the project which accounts for 65% of the total work on the runway. It also allowed for the commencement of work in the 2nd kilometer which saw the clearing of the areas for the terminal buildings, apron, and taxiway.
In 2009, we achieved, among other things, the relocation of the Argyle cemetery to a new site in Peruvian Vale: 69 remains were uncovered, 67 of which were reburied at Peruvian and 2 reburied at Stubbs on the request of the next-of-kin. During the year, a retaining wall was constructed at Harmony Hall and currently roads are being built at the Carapan development.
In addition to the commendable work being done in the field, good work is also being done by the support and administration staff. These people have been making an invaluable contribution to the development of the Argyle International Airport. And as the work winds down for the year, the International Airport Development Company took the opportunity to say thank you to its workers and an extra special thank you to those who went above and beyond their call of duty to ensure that the airport becomes operational by the end of March 2012.
Those being specially acknowledged under the category of Best Overall Employee of the Year – Non Supervisory Staff, were: Caldric (Walley) John - (Office Staff), Wadie Pompey - Best Field Worker - Vincentian (Chatoyer-Che Contingent), Rochelle Jackson - Best Housekeeper - Vincentian (Chatoyer-Che Contingent), Mario Brito Gonzalez - Employee of the Year - Cuban (Chatoyer-Che contingent).
Under the category Best Overall Supervisor/Manager: Keisha Fraser (Vincentian) Administration, and Juan Arnaldo Antuch Suarez (Cuban) Chatoyer-Che Contingent.
Currently work in the field is suspended for one month until mid January 2010 to allow the Cubans to spend time during the holiday season with their families in Cuba. Consultant Engineer Leonardo Perez is forecasting that they will end next year with 70% of the earthworks completed. Meantime, trenches have already been dug in preparation for the installation of box culverts, which will channel runoff water from the runway in the 1st kilometer down to the sea. These culverts are to be installed early in the New Year. The runway is almost at the required height in the 1st kilometer and will reach that height by early next year.
Detailed design work on the terminal building and other landside facilities will continue into the New Year, and construction of these facilities is likely to get underway by mid 2010. Work on clearing the areas where these buildings are to be constructed has already begun in the 2nd kilometer of the project.
IADC extends its gratitude to all persons and institutions that have assisted us with our work during the year. We also take this opportunity to wish all a Merry Christmas, good health and prosperity throughout the New Year.