Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 20, 2020 (ZIZ News):As the rehabilitation project continues at the airport, the St. Christopher Air and Sea Port Authority (SCASPA) invited media professionals on a tour of the taxiways on Thursday to give an update on the progress that has been made.
As SCASPA works to improve safety, increase capacity and comply with international airport standards, the Airport Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project in its second phase is reconstructing the Taxiway Alpha to be longer and more suited to accommodate aircraft utilizing the runway.
Speaking at the media tour on Thursday, Minister of Port Hon Lindsay Grant outlined what phase 2 of the project entails.
“Phase two involved the resurfacing of taxiway alpha in concrete and drainage. This project was recently completed at a cost of some 23.3 million EC dollars; the contractor being Contec DT. During the construction phase the contractor discovered that the foundation sub-base was very unstable and because of this the drainage had to be done. To address this, the contractor dug the foundation and the sub base put in with the appropriate material to stabilize Taxiway Alpha.
He outlined the costs associated with the airport infrastructure rehabilitation project.
“Phase two was extended to include the connection of taxiway alpha and taxiway bravo to the apron in rediness for the opening of the airport to commercial flights in October. This has already started. This work is expected to be completed in two months at the cost of some 15 million EC dollars approximately. The resurfacing of the apron would be done in phase 3 at a later date. It is important to note that the cost of phase one and phase two of the airport infrastructure rehabilitation project is some 60.7 million dollars.”
Minister Grant said the extensive work was necessary as Taxiway Alpha is the largest taxiway used primarily for the larger heavier and wide bodied jets.
Engineer Consultant Errol Douglas said the work is being done to ensure the taxiway meets certain specifications.
The base of the taxiway had to be redone in order that it can take the new design rate of the new design aircraft. This tyoe of aircraft comes regularly during the time before Covid from Britain for example and from Antigua. In addition to that, what Contec DT has been doing, they did quite a bit of geotechnical testing and pavement deflection tests using modern techniques to ensure that the taxiway would meet the specifications for FAA, IKO and also the regional body which is the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority in Antigua.”
He said the design life on Taxiway Alpha is a minimum of 25 years with the expectation that it will last approximately 40 years.
The cost of phase one and phase two is 60.7 million dollars. Of that amount, 24.5 million dollars was financed by SCASPA using their internal funds and the remaining 36.2 million financed through loan funding.
Due to financial constraints caused by the Covid19 pandemic, Phase 3 of the Airport Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project has been postponed to a later date.