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Dec 5, 2012

Municipal Airstrip extension and renamed after Sir Barry

The Municipal Airstrip in Belize City is getting a nine point five million dollar upgrade. Works got underway today and it will take two years to complete. Notably, the airstrip will be named posthumously after Sir Barry Bowen who was killed in a plane accident in February 2010. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.


Jose Sanchez, Reporting

A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Municipal Airstrip in Belize City because the facility and runway will be upgraded. Upon completion it will carry the name of former pilot and former head of the Bowen Group, Barry Bowen.


Rene Montero, Minister of Transport

Rene Montero

“The Belize Municipal Airport Airstrip is hereafter to be known as the Sir Barry Bowen Municipal Airport in memory of the great missionary of this country. This airstrip is considered to be the mother ship of the system. This will be a huge project at a total cost of nine point five million dollars with a landing strip almost double in size—width and length—to some three thousand three hundred feet which will provide for safer takeoff and landing of all aircraft.”


There were issues that had to be addressed before formalizing the new arrangement.


Rene Montero

“Noise complaint from residents has been a problem and especially from the students of Saint John’s College, our neighbor, has raised this concerned on numerous occasions. They can take solace in the fact that we heard you and noise mitigation measures have been built into the design of this project. The journey to get here has been long; the obstacles were great and many, however, we did not falter and today we now stand prepared for the start of the major works. It is expected that this project will be successfully completed in two years.”


Kenworth Tillett

Kenworth Tillett, General Manager, Belize Airport Authority

“For the past couple of years, since my appointment as General Manager of the Belize Airport Authority, I have been fighting to make this project come to past. Today after years of patience and being persistent—not very patient, but being persistent—it gives me immense pleasure to welcome you to witness this signing and groundbreaking of this much anticipated upgrade and rehabilitation project.”


The contracts were signed by the S.S.B. representative and the ministers. Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, spoke on the runway project of which Barry Bowen was a big fan.


Manuel Heredia

Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism

“With the nine point five million, you will be getting a first-class airstrip; that all of us will be proud. But particularly, I will be more proud as I mentioned in the beginning; it was an idea of Sir Barry Bowen and thanks to god that even the present minister still agreed to name it on its owner because I believe he definitely deserves it. He was a person that tried to cooperate as much as possible with infrastructure not only in Belize City but likewise in many other parts of the country. I fully well remember the only bridge that is in San Pedro; again it was a good gesture of how a person that loves his country can come together with good people cause he really believed in good people—he will not do a deal with anybody. But in San Pedro, particularly with myself, we had a very, very good relationship even at the times when I was from another party and he was very well tied up with the other. We were still good friends and he still assisted us in San Pedro. One thing had to do with Central Government and the other one for the island and he loved that island. And the other thing that we shared in common in San Pedro [was] walking barefoot.”


Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Municipal Airstrip extension and renamed after Sir Barry”

  1. Storm says:

    I hope it is a job done well and within budget. Safe and easy air transport is a vital resource for any nation today.

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