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MBIA readiness status upgraded

MBIA General Manager Wendy Francette- Williams

British Airways may resume flights to Grenada on Wednesday after the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) was returned to Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Services readiness.

MBIA General Manager, Wendy Francette-Williams, said the airport is now at a category nine level after being downgraded to a category four because of problems with sourcing dry aggregates or firefighting foam.

British Airways had halted flights to the island because of the lack of readiness to meet international aviation standards for E class aircraft to land.

Passengers who were booked to fly to Grenada on Saturday (October 24) were informed that the flight were cancelled and that British Airways may not have flights to the island for the next several weeks.

On Thursday, Francette-Williams said, “British Airways is returning on October 28”, adding that any unavailability is probably due to full bookings.

British Airways has not given confirmation that it will resume flights on that date but local travel agents said that bookings are available for the flight.

Francette-Williams announced that the foam arrived at the scheduled time, October 22 and a new, 3000-gallon fire truck has already been equipped with the dry aggregate.

The shipment, ordered in August, was first scheduled to arrive by October 7.

The General Manager told THE NEW TODAY that the return to category nine is as a result of one year of upgrades to meet international standards, including purchasing a new truck which cost $1.5-million, training of fire and rescue personnel and increasing the size of the fire and rescue team at the airport.

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According to Francette-Williams, close to $400, 000.00 was spent to purchase the aggregate.

She said months ago they discovered that what was in storage needed to be tested and this had to be done in the United States which took some time.

Dry aggregates have a life span of twenty to twenty-five years and the General Manager said she was unsure about how old the old stock was.

Regulations require that the aggregates must be tested at least once a year.

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