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Government Responds After Airlines Complain About Caye Caulker Airport

BAA to Secure Funding for Reconstruction of Caye Caulker Municipal Airport – In a press release issued by the Belize Airports Authority, the government of Belize responds to the joint release from both Tropic Air or Maya Island Air over safety concerns at the Caye Caulker Municipal Airport.

After announcing that both airlines will suspend flights to La Isla Cariñosa effective October 1, the Belize Ports Authority released information announcing the final stages of securing the necessary funding from the Social Security Board (SSB) to begin the reconstruction of the runway.

BAA states that in 2016, consultants were engaged to conduct feasibility studies for the repairs of the municipal airport in Caye Caulker. Based on the results of the study, the BAA subsequently took the decision to reconstruct the facility in line with the long-term vision of the Authority. Hence, a comprehensive design was commissioned.

The design is now complete, according to BAA, and contractors have submitted bids for the construction works. The rigorous bid evaluation process is ongoing and expected to be completed on or before September 15, 2017.

The scope of the works for the renovation of the Caye Caulker Municipal Airport will entail the reconstruction of the runway which will be elevated by approximately 0.7m over the existing one and widened from 12m to 18m. The surface will be paved with hot-mix asphalt.

Other works will include the reconstruction and expansion of the apron with provisions for several hangars; marking of the runway and apron; construction of proper drainage of the facility; construction of a shore protection system; the installation of runway lights among other security and safety features and other amenities.

The BAA says it has been working with air operators and other stakeholders, inclusive of the Belize Department of Civil Aviation and the DOE, which granted environmental clearance for the project, to sensitize all those concerned about the scope of the project.

In addition, meetings with the Caye Caulker Village Council and the local BTIA are being coordinated. Funding with SSB is being negotiated and update on approval is envisioned to happen by the end of this month, September 2017. The project is estimated to cost over BZ$7 million and is expected to begin in October. It will take approximately 8 months to complete.

Related Article: Local Airlines to Suspend Flights to Caye Caulker for Safety Reasons

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