“CART BEFORE THE HORSE”

anguillian
By anguillian August 22, 2016 10:08 Updated

 

 

The above is one of the common idioms which, for ages, lent colour, expression, and interpretative meaning to many of the sayings in our modern languages. In this particular case, above, it is simply an analogy for doing things in the wrong order according to an internet or dictionary definition.
That said, an issue which has generated much discussion and debate over the years in Anguilla has been, and continues to be, the need to expand and develop the airport. This debate may have gone on since Wallblake Airport was just a grass field while there was an evolving need for considerable improvement to facilitate aircraft and passenger movements to Anguilla. That debate has become even more pronounced today by the demand of our growing tourism industry. Thus, we have heard arguments for airport expansion, for Anguilla, at Scrub Island in the past years – and more recently, in Brimigen, and Wallblake. The latter site is now the preferred area where the argument for the project is finally settling down. It is here, too, where the renamed Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport, which was considerably expanded in 2004, is located, and where hope lies for further expansion to accommodate international jet passenger service to the island.

In recent times, there have been reports about possible private/public sector partnerships to develop the airport and there have also been expectations of British Government’s assistance towards that end. It was even reported that there had been a sizeable and initial UK proposed grant for the project but which, unfortunately, is nowhere recorded on paper or computer. There is, however, an important development in that construction work is now commencing on an all-inclusive new Fire & Rescue Services and Air Traffic Control Building. This follows the recent completion of an access road. The structure is estimated to cost between 8 and 9 million dollars and, according to Governor Christina Scott, 5 million of that amount is UK Government funding. She commended both Governments for their involvement in the project when the contract was signed, a week ago on August 12, between the Anguilla Government and the contractor – OBD & Associates.

It is of significant interest to note that Chief Minister, Mr. Victor Banks, and Minister of Infrastructure, Mr. Curtis Richardson, used the occasion to stress the importance of expanding the airport in due course. Mr. Richardson was more to the point, saying: “Anguilla needs the expansion of the airport in the worst way” and that the Government was ready to demonstrate its ability to handle and manage a project of that magnitude. The Minister also made an impassionate plea for the project, as well as for the proper observance of the current airport regulations while speaking at the Government’s press conference on Tuesday this week. He was commenting on matters related to certain unpublicised findings by Air Safety Support International (ISSI) which looks after aviation safety regulations in the UK Overseas Territories. He was also speaking in relation to rumours about an impending closure of the airport due to “unnoticeable matters” and the need to avoid that situation.

While the new Fire & Rescue Services and Air Traffic Control Building will bring about much improvement at the airport, in its current stage, a facility of that cost and proportion automatically calls for a new airstrip and terminal building as well. It is not strange that commentators in the public domain have been quick to remark: “they building a new Fire Hall and Control Tower before expanding the airport”. Their argument, silly, or reasonable, may perhaps be seen in the context of the above caption and idiom: Cart Before the Horse? The fact, however, is that some part of the proposed airport expansion must done first – if the entire project cannot be undertaken at the same time.

anguillian
By anguillian August 22, 2016 10:08 Updated

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