Press Office Government of Belize
Caye Caulker Airstrip - A Reality!
02 March, 2005 - Caye Caulker -
A modernized and much-improved airstrip, reflecting a BZE $809,000
investment from the Government of Belize into the local economy of Caye
Caulker, was re-opened today.
Minister of Tourism, Hon Godfrey Smith; Minister of Works, Hon. Jose
Coye; Minister of Health, Hon. Vildo Marin, Belize Rural South Hon.
Manuel Heredia Area Representative, Chairman Alberto Villanueva Jr. and
the village council, and residents of Caye Caulker Village and visitors
gathered at the south-end area of Caye Caulker to witness the re-opening
of the much needed infrastructure.
In his address, Chairman Alberto Villanueva Jr., said that the people of
Caye Caulker are very grateful for the massive investment which is also
a sign of confidence from the Government. Villanueva explained that Caye
Caulker, with its unique laid-back atmosphere, has shown great potential
and has become a booming destination in the tourism industry coupled
with construction growth. "This is an indication of the Government of
Belize's investment to the tourism product and the development of Caye
Caulker," he stated.
Hon. Marin, Hon. Smith, Hon. Coye and former Area Representative Patty
Arceo also gave addresses recognizing Government's commitment to the
people of Caye Caulker. Hon. Coye noted that in investing in Caye
Caulker, Government is not only giving back to the community but is also
helping to create an enabling environment for the productive sector to
enhance the society.
Following the ceremony, Chairman of the Belize Airport Authority, Hon.
Maxwell Samuels cut the ribbon declaring the airstrip open.
In June of last year the airstrip was closed as a result of its
deteriorated condition caused by the 2003 rainy season. The Ministry of
Works quickly prepared a new design and began scarifying the runway. The
surface was re-compacted which made it utilizable for emergency cases.
According to Cadet Henderson, Chief Engineer in the Ministry of Works,
the new design sought to redesign the center line profile to improve its
gradient and riding quality; widen the airstrip by 33% to 40 feet;
reconstruct its apron and drain area; and rebuild its taxiway and
provide another leg to improve the traffic way.
This new design was carried out in two phases, the first which began on
October 2004 and consisted of sand-fill dredging and structuring the
all-in base course; and the second which began on December 2004 and
consisted of paving the runway with MC3000 cut-back bitumen. The line
marking of the run way has been delayed as a result of the curing of the
pavement, but will be finished by the end of this month.
The airstrip runway is 2,800 feet long and 40 feet wide. Phase 1 was
carried out by Mr. Benson Ramclam of Triple B Heavy Equipment Ltd. Phase
two was carried out by CISCO Construction Ltd. Its runway class fits the
Aerodome Reference Code 1B of Aerodome Design Manual, and its
measurements satisfy the ICAO Aeroplane Reference.