Deterioration of runway in Cat Island causes flights to pull out

Member of Parliament for Englerston, Glenys Hanna-Martin.

Shadow Minister of Tourism and Aviation Glenys Hanna Martin sounded off on the notice issued by Sky Bahamas on flights to and from Arthur’s Town, Cat Island Tuesday, which the airline said will be discontinued with immediate effect.

The airline justified the move which it said was due to the horrible state of the airport runway.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sky Bahamas Randy Butler, told Eyewitness News that the company had tried to do all that it could to cooperate but said safety is the airline’s primary concern.

He has said that although flights to Arthur’s Town have been halted, the company has doubled up on flights to New Bight to accommodate residents.

Hanna Martin, in a statement released yesterday, noted that she was curious as to why the government had neglected to repair the active runway, knowing the obvious implications to aviation safety.

She questioned whether the minister had considered that the airport was essential to this community who have come to rely on air connectivity to sustain their way of life.

Hanna Martin said that the government’s failure to address the safety issues at the airport is unacceptable.

“The Government has failed to provide a more comprehensive response to the fate of that airport but has instead put into the public domain, comments, which may only increase the anxiety of the Cat Island community,” Hanna Martin wrote.

She also stated that the minister’s awareness of the importance of air connectivity to economic development is questionable.

Her comments also follow those of the Minister of Tourism and Aviation, Dionisio D’Aguilar.

D’Aguilar had previously stated that the Minnis administration was at a crossroads over whether it would repair or permanently close the Arthur’s Town airport. It was also revealed by the minister that funding for this particular airport’s repairs was not in the budget.

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This article was written by GINELLE LONGLEY, Eyewitness News intern.