Animals on Lethem runway pose a great danger

Dear Editor,

I would like to alert the relevant authorities to an extremely serious situation that threatens the safety of pedestrians and motorists on the Lethem roads, and the safety of aircraft and passengers on the runways at the Lethem airport.

On at least three occasions I drew the Mayor’s attention to the danger posed especially to motorists by animals roaming freely on our roads. But the problem is even more grave when animals invade the runway and taxiways of the Lethem airport on almost a daily basis. For instance, just last week, there were about five horses on the runway, causing the aircraft to overshoot the runway. Three days later horses tried to enter the compound just as a plane was taxiing for takeoff.

But the danger posed by people’s actions is just as bad. The airport fence has been breached in several places by people taking a shortcut across the runway on foot and on motorcycles. On at least one occasion, a motorcyclist breached the fence and rode up the runway, totally unaware that a plane was on final approach to land. The plane had to overshoot and land after the runway was clear.

Three entities must bear responsibility for this outrageous situation:  the town council, for its abject failure to impound animals (the Mayor says they don’t have a pound); the police, for their failure to arrest anyone breaching the fence; and the irresponsible airport authority for not repairing the fence whenever it is cut.

All these instances represent a clear and present danger. It seems we are never proactive when all the signs are evident that threaten people’s lives. Do we have to wait for a tragedy such as that at the Camp Street prison, before we take action?

Yours faithfully,

Clairmont Lye

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