Baramita airstrip riddled with defects six months after repairs -pilot says

This photo of the Baramita runway, which is littered with potholes and other defects, was posted by Learie Barclay.

Despite being repaired approximately six months ago the Baramita airstrip in the North West District of Region One is reported to be in a state of disrepair once again. 

Seasoned pilot and Director of Operations of Roraima Airways Learie Barclay made a Facebook post on Saturday about the current condition of the runway and parking area in the Region One community, and he blamed the deplorable conditions on substandard work.

“This runway and parking area of Baramita was rehabilitated less than six months ago to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Today it is [in] a deplorable condition due to substandard work. The bitumen layer is less than 1/4 thick,” he wrote.

Because of the potholes and other cracks that have developed, the runway is usually plastered with mud and clay.

Barclay also noted that he is not blaming the Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson, but the contractor.

“This would not have stood up to a car, much less a 10,000 pound aircraft exerting landing forces on it. This is nasty, nasty, unacceptable …conduct,” he added.

Stabroek News has learnt that the $70 million contract for works on the airstrip was awarded to Mohammed Ramzan Ali Khan Construction last year and the project was completed less than six months ago.

Patterson commented on Barclay’s post and noted that the situation would be investigated. He said if it falls under his ministry, a report would be prepared.

Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley confirmed to Stabroek News yesterday that the region has heard complaints about the state of the airstrip but he noted that he was unable to make any definitive pronouncements since he was unable to establish contact with persons from the community.

Attempts to contact Patterson and head of the Work Services Group of the Ministry Geoffrey Vaughn proved futile.

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