The town-hall meeting about Saba’s airport renovation plans was well-attended.
SABA–Last week a team from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Rijkswaterstaat and Netherlands Airport Consultants NACO visited Saba to make preparations for the renovation of the runway at Saba’s Juancho Yrausquin Airport. In a well-attended town hall meeting the public was informed about the plans.
The overall response from the public to the proposed works was “very positive,” according to Commissioner of Aviation Bruce Zagers.
“People understand that action is needed to make sure we can continue safe air travel to our island,” said Zagers.
The runway will be repaved with concrete. “Using concrete has significant long-term advantages over asphalt, such as the much longer lifespan of 30 years. Also the materials, knowledge and equipment for maintenance are available locally,” Commissioner Zagers said.
Concrete runways are not unusual in the region. St Barth’s airport, for example, has had a concrete runway for many years already.
The renovation of the runway is scheduled in the lowest travel season, between September 10 and October 9. This decision was taken to minimalize the economic impact to Saba.
As this is also the peak of the hurricane season, precautions will be made to minimize the risk of hurricane damage and to ensure accessibility for helicopters at all times, assured Zagers.
During the four weeks of the airport closure, provisions will be made for additional ferry connections, as well as options with the medical helicopters to ensure free movement of persons to and from the island.
Strict requirements have been set for the execution of the project to ensure a successful outcome. For example, all required equipment and materials need to be on the island before the works start. Mixing of concrete will take place at the airport. A test will be done to verify the quality of the materials and the process.
This test case will be used to create a helicopter platform next to the airport apron. The helicopter platform is designed to fit the largest Medevac helicopter.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/73111-saba-airport-to-close-from-september-10-to-october-9