DASPA puts systems in place to prevent disaster at Douglas Charles Airport

The airport received a severe pounding during TS Erika
The airport received a severe pounding during TS Erika

Chief Executive Officer of the Dominica Air and Seaport Authority (DASPA), Benoit Bardouille has said systems are being put in place to prevent disaster at the Douglas Charles Airport, similar to what occurred during the passage of Tropical Storm Erika in August 2015.

Bardouille made that statement while speaking as a guest on “DASPA in Touch” programme earlier this week.

During the storm the airport received a severe pounding due to flooding by the Melville Hall River, which caused every piece of equipment at that facility to be destroyed and therefore had to be replaced.

Damages to the airport were in excess of $41 million and on September 2015, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit revealed that the Government would require $39.5-million to have it restored.

“We are hopeful and looking forward towards the end of August we should see the completion of phase one which in terms of the apron…when we talk about the apron is that area where the aircrafts park and persons come off or go on onto the aircrafts,” he explained. “Presently we are using the eastern side of that ramp and you would have seen work being done on the western side of that ramp.”

According to Bardouille the western part should be completed soon.

“We are just at present levelling off so that they can start pretty soon the laying of the asphalt, and once the asphalt is complete then we switch from where we are operating now to the newly laid area” Bardouille revealed. “Where we are working now will be ripped up and work will continue from that end.”

He stated further that a river wall will be constructed to protect the runway.

“The plan in going forward that is being designed is we are going to put a wall across that area so that some level of permanence in terms of just having the soil backfilled and having stones in that area, the engineers have decided to put a wall in that area so that the chances of that area being breached again would be remote and so that is ongoing,” Bardouille indicated.

He went on to say that the designs are being prepared and finalized, “and so since that is done in the interim what has been done in that area is that they have plugged the area and put in enough sufficient material…”

Bardouille added, “They have put in so much into it that they have estimated that probably twice the volume it can stand as a temporary measure.”

He mentioned also that works are ongoing in widening of the channels where possible and also dredging of the river.

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22 Comments

  1. Roger Burnett
    June 7, 2017

    Rivers in their lower reaches resist being diverted or contained between training walls. Nature’s solution is to widen rather than deepen, hence flood plains.

    At the end of the day building on a flood plain invites trouble no matter what steps are taken to alleviate the problem.

  2. Ron
    August 14, 2016

    All i can say is BOOT(build own operate transfer) Labour party out of Office…

  3. Hot Girl
    August 14, 2016

    Dominica policy makers sucks!!! Dam!!!

  4. FORKIT
    August 14, 2016

    bardo seem to be a god… you can prevent a disaster when we contributed more to it.

  5. Favoured
    August 14, 2016

    Can’t deduce much from this disjointed statement. First thing he mentioned is improvements to Apron which ended up as the ramp both terms can be used interchangeable but for clarity if using one continue with just one . Secondly the estimated cost of replacement of all equipment is 41 million however the PM says it will take 39 million. The question then arises what is the true cost of renovation plus equipment replacement plus mitigation works, plus river dredging? Mitigation works are essential at the top of rwy09 is that cost included? What is the return on investment? my friend cost for these works will run over 100 million. What’s ROI? improvement including the lengthening and lighting of the Canefield Airport was always a better option while a new jet port is being pursued in the North. PM once said investing monies in Public Works is like throwing money in ravines well apply that to Melville Hall except it is a river ; Idiots continue to have their way! Poor DA.

  6. Tony
    August 13, 2016

    Hello and good afternoon my people. Well I don’t know which engineer that’s advising the Government because it sound like they telling them what they want to hear. The airport is in the river bed which is a flood plain therefore it will flood anytime there is heavy rain. One can only mitigate the chance of flooding by dredging the river where the two rivers meet which is about a mile from the airport. They must remove all the boulders and dredge it twenty feet deep from its current depth and that will reduce the chances of the river over running its bank. Also they can build a Dam where the two rivers meet in that way they would be able to control the water flow and they would be able to provide reliable electricity to the norther part of the country therefore solving two problems.

  7. Jason S.
    August 13, 2016

    International airport. Where would arriving passengers stay… Olive’s Guest House in Atkinston? Dominica does not have the rooms available to sustain a international airport, let alone the infrastructure. A international airport is not practical or feasible.

    • john paul
      August 16, 2016

      shut your mouth jason s you sound like small minded fool.

  8. August 12, 2016

    can some one Reapeat what he said, some of us are just still in the 5th Grade. O.I.D. Smh. we all have to Eat.

    • Tony
      August 13, 2016

      To: BRP

      Hello and good afternoon my people. Well I was wondering how can this man be the Executive Director of such an important agency within the Government when he speak that way. The article read like he don’t have any formal education and we are a country that export so many educated people so it makes me wonder if certain individuals get position based on their education qualification or their political Affliation. No wonder they why they can’t solve the flooding issue.

  9. %
    August 12, 2016

    More money being wasted by a gang of lazy,inept,evil, incompetent gang of scarecrows….With all the wasted money at Melvillehall,an astute government who cares about country and people,and not economic growth of their pockets would have had an international airport long time…Remember Gonzales told Skerrit Dominica does not need an international airport????I thought hurricane David was bad,but it was nothing compared to hurricane DLP,that has battered,disrespected,violated,insulted, abused, impoverished and destroyed Dominica over a 17years period.

    • john paul
      August 13, 2016

      if had known you,I would have shake your hands my brother.i agree with you you are so right.

  10. john paul
    August 12, 2016

    the only solution is an international airport.

    • August 14, 2016

      I say it before and will say it again the government need to buy back grand savanaha in Salisbury that land was already surveyed for an airport but was sold by the freedom party government

  11. kissit
    August 12, 2016

    lol and what about passenger and staff safety if something should happen? also no hospital in d place. blah blah blah jus talk as usual

    • J
      August 16, 2016

      Hospital…. Who will work in this so called (new hospital) where will the Dr’s and technicians and support staff come from.

  12. Imelda
    August 12, 2016

    You can’t prevent disaster. It can only be mitigated.

  13. Winston warrington
    August 12, 2016

    Why should the Manager instead of the Engineer of record asked to explain the works? This labored and tortuous explanation makes no sense.

  14. Guy, there is no system of any kind you or anybody in Dominica can put in place that could prevent flooding of that airport. You can build walls around the entire airport reaching into the sky, or heavens if you like, the flood waters will breach your system and wash that Airport away every time!

    Procrastinating will not help, all procrastinating will do is cause the nation to go bankrupt trying to protect something that should not be in that location, for hundreds of years the rive has had its way when it rain heavily, and flood; some older people from Marigot and Wesley will remember the tall old red British built bridge, would be covered by flood waters.

    So imagine from the river bed to over the rails of the Bridge was more than fifty feet tall, and the bridge would be covered with flood waters, what make anybody believe they can put system in place to prevent the floods from doing what they have done for centuries?

    The alternative is the building of a new International…

  15. ABOLOR
    August 12, 2016

    Bring back the passenger Sea Planes. That\’s what we need in Dominica. Land de peoples on de water and then bring dem ashore via peep-wee.

    • Do you know it is a crime to be stupid?

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

      • I am Dominican are you?
        August 15, 2016

        Then why have YOU NOT been arrested for posting your crass and stupid comments on DNO.
        Hehehehehehehehehehehehe!

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