BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – OVER the past couple of weeks, motorists and passersby would have noticed the commencement of construction work on a piece of land just west of the airport runway on which navigational lights sit.
Some have suggested that the construction work is to facilitate the expansion of the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport runway. However, the project, as explained by the Minister of Public Infrastructure, Posts, Urban Development and Transport, the Hon. Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd, has a totally different purpose.
He said the work is the mounting of a perimeter fence around that portion of land, which forms part of the property of the RLB International Airport, and that it is being done for the “protection of the navigational or landing lights”.
Some years ago, the road which leads to the St. Peter’s area ran between this piece of land and the airport and that route was subsequently discontinued, as a new road was constructed to run around the piece of land on which the navigational lights sit.
The position of the lights, prior to the route change, made them not as visible as they now are because of the overgrown vegetation that either surrounded them or were in proximity.
Minister Liburd told this publication that because the lights are an “integral part of the airport and its services”, it has become necessary to fence the area.
“They were never seen before because they were down in the ghaut and the road ran the other way. But now they have cleaned up the area and so on, they are exposed. They are critical to the operation at the airport. We are trying to protect against unlawful interference of the navigational lights…”
The fencing project is being undertaken by E&J Construction and Minister Liburd said it is expected to be completed within two months.
Asked about the cost of the project, Liburd indicated that as he was not in office at the time of interview, it would have been difficult to give an accurate figure.
Subsequently attempts to contact him were unsuccessful.