Monday, February 20, 2017

ARGYLE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (AIA) OPENS ---- FINALLY!



GOOD NEWS, BUT MAYBE NOT THAT GOOD YET



One of the hardest parts of getting down to my island country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is always having to fly from Miami to Barbados and then on to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I have been dreaming of the day when I can fly directly from Miami to SVG.

A new SVG international airport was announced in 2008. The government had previously forecast - and missed - annual completion dates of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. I have seen the construction going on during my previous visits, but I never thought I'd live long enough to see it completed. Finally, after all those delays, Argyle International Airport (AIA) opened on 14 February 2017.

That's the good news. The bad news is there are no international flights yet from places like the United States. I still have to go to Barbados and take one of those regional airlines.

There is one thin hope that something might happen. Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that "an international airline out of the United States of America is scheduled to operate regular flights to St. Vincent and the Grenadines when the Argyle International Airport becomes operational." Dr. Gonsalves did not name the airline, but noted that arrangements are being finalized and an announcement is likely to be made in the month of June. A well placed international source said that the Airline is likely to be Jet Blue. Gonsalves, however, gave no hint as to the name of the airline. “There’s an international carrier which we have been in discussion with out of the United States. They will make the announcement towards the end of June,” Gonsalves said.

After so many promises over eight years as to the actual opening of the airport, I am leery of such promises. I will remain hopeful, however, with a wait-and-see attitude. I wish them luck.

This could help the country in so many ways, especially economically.



A longer and wider runway than the old airport runway. You still do not want to overshoot the runway, either in take-offs or landings.



The old airport's runway is much shorter and runs right into a densely populated area.



The impressive main terminal under construction. It is so much larger than the old airport terminal.



The customs/immigration area for all incoming flights at the old airport. Citizens of SVG use the lane on the right and international visitors use the lane on the left.



The one single boarding area for all flights out of the old airport. The doors lead right out onto the runway. Notice no agent is guarding the doors.  A more secure airport is desperately needed.



The beautiful flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

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