The Cabinet has dismissed cries from the Guild of Antigua and Barbuda Air Traffic Controller (GABATCO) as nothing more than a false alarm claiming that renovation and repairs have been ongoing for some time.
During Monday’s Labour Day Rally, an executive member of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) lamented the lack of advancement in bringing the control tower to a state-of-the-art facility, in line with the new airport terminal.
But at yesterday’s post-Cabinet press briefing, the minister of information said GABATCO and its membership have been kept abreast of the work in progress.
“There is no need for there to be any alarm, there is a project that is ongoing, and I think that the minister [of aviation] has indicated that he is prepared to meet with the members of GABATCO to give them all the necessary assurances and fill in any gaps in information they may have,” Melford Nicholas said.
Wesley Joseph, an executive of GABATCO, told the Labour Day crowd that he was hired as part of the new radar implementation plan envisioned for the V. C. Bird International Airport and to date, there is none in place.
In reiterating earlier calls for attention, Joseph added that the radio equipment he met at the international airport when he started his career 25 years ago is the same and is continuously plagued by daily malfunctioning.
While acknowledging that there have been some positive changes, Joseph lamented several issues, noting that the promised tower cab is yet to arrive on the island to be installed.
However, the Cabinet said that the aviation minister expressed dismay over Joseph’s comments reported on by OBSERVER media on May 9, 2018.
Nicholas added that the issue of the signal tower which is in need of fixing has been a matter that has been ongoing for some time.
“Last year during its regular business the Cabinet did give consideration to several proposals that came before us and once it had gone through the tender process a supplier was identified. But, as usual with these matters there was a gap between the approval and execution of a project,” Minister Nicholas said.