Saturday, April 20, 2024

Caye Caulker Airport rehabilitation project underway


The Caye Caulker Municipal Airport is once again closed for much-needed renovations. The Belize Airports Authority (BAA) reported that the airport closed on July 18th, and after that, rehabilitation work started. As the airport undergoes significant upgrades, those planning to visit La Isla Cariñosa will need to do so via water taxi until works at the airport have been completed.
According to BAA, the airport rehabilitation project will last about six weeks. The project aims to address critical infrastructure needs, enhance operational capabilities, and elevate the overall passenger experience. Some of the issues with the runway include undulations that could pose a danger to routine daily flights. The BAA noted that because Caye Caulker has no taxiway, their airport must be closed entirely during the six weeks needed for the rehabilitation. The BAA is aware of the potential effects on Caye Caulker’s local economy and therefore waited until the busy period of Easter and Lobsterfest before the project started.
This is the second time in recent years that Caye Caulker’s airport has undergone renovations. Under the previous government administration, the airport underwent a complete renovation between October 2017 and September 2018, costing $3.6 million, partially financed by the BAA and a loan from the Social Security Board. The entire runway was redone, and additional features were added. The fully renovated airport reopened on September 7, 2018. The airport was reportedly upgraded to one of the most modern and safest in the country, with a 2,840-foot long by 40-foot-wide runway, asphalted with hot-mix and equipped with a lighting system to facilitate late and emergency flights. However, almost five years later, the airport’s runway is reportedly sinking and has become unsafe for airplanes to land.
While the Caye Caulker Airport undergoes this renovation, the Sir Barry Bowen Municipal Airport in Belize City is also undergoing repairs. In contrast with Caye Caulker, the municipal airport in Belize City will only be closed partially because this airport has a taxiway where airplanes can safely land.

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