The Reporter has been informed by credible sources from within the Department of Civil Aviation and from experienced pilots that the recently constructed runway in Caye Caulker has been the cause of some concern due to the way it was constructed as well as reports that a portion of the runway is sinking.
According to the reports, the runway was built with a slope in the middle for water to run off since no drainage system was included in the project. One pilot who spoke with the Reporter called it a “disaster waiting to happen” explaining that pilots must maneuver as close to the center as possible to maintain balance.
Sources from within Civil Aviation had indicated to the Reporter that a team was even being sent to Caye Caulker to conduct an inspection of the runway following complaints.
The Reporter also spoke with Tropic Air President, John Grief III, who said that despite having heard the reports, he visited Caye Caulker twice within the last week and didn’t note any irregularities with the runway. He also told the Reporter that the company insists that pilots submit any observations in writing, however, there has been no official complaint regarding the runway.
According to Grief, the prior issue with the runway was a dip in the middle which was the reason it needed to be resurfaced. The Reporter also contacted Maya Island Air for comment, however, up to press time we had not received a response, though a representative who we spoke with on the phone confirmed that the company had also heard the reports concerning the Caye Caulker runway.
Notably, the contract for the construction of the Caye Caulker runway was awarded to Imer Hernandez, the nephew of former Minister Gaspar Vega, whose name has become synonymous with major infrastructure contracts which have yielded sub-par quality at completion. The Reporter will continue following this story.