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Aircraft grounded at Hewanorra International Airport

By SNO Staff
hewanorra-airport-aerial0

Hewanorra International Airport

A British Airways aircraft has been grounded in St. Lucia as a result of a bird strike, while a Virgin Atlantic aircraft was grounded due to mechanical problems it was experiencing.

A source told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) today (October 27) that the British Airways aircraft landed at the Hewanorra International Airport in Vieux Fort on Monday at around 6:30 p.m.

The plane was expected to depart Saint Lucia a few hours later for Grenada, but was unable to do so, because it was experiencing mechanical problems after coming into contact with birds.

The aircraft which accommodates approximately 250 passengers had to overnight in Saint Lucia and is still awaiting clearance to leave Hewanorra Airport.

The source told SNO that the airport encountered some challenges in trying to acquire hotel accommodation for its passengers, because most hotels were filled due to the other aircraft being grounded as well.

Nevertheless, the airport staff assisted and the passengers were provided with hotel accommodation for the night.

Meanwhile, the second aircraft arrived in Saint Lucia around 3:30 p.m. Monday and was experiencing some mechanical problems. Passengers for that aircraft had to overnight in Saint Lucia also.

SNO understands that the matter concerning the birds on the airfield was brought to the attention of the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) and was discussed at lengths at previous meetings.

It was noted during those meetings that the influx of birds on the airfield was a direct result of global warming, as a majority of the birds spotted in the area are not species found in Saint Lucia.

It has been reported that any collision with birds can damage an aircraft’s body. Birds can enter the engines and destroy equipment if the aircraft is flying at a high speed.

Certain airports have taken measures to keep birds away by using guns to shoot them or trapping them. But this poses a huge problem, especially with conservation groups.

General Manager of SLASPA Keigan Cox told SNO that while it still poses a challenge, the issue has been minimized due to certain interventions taken by his office.

He said SLASPA has consulted with local agencies to look at this issue and has even moved to purchase equipment to scare away the birds, among other things.

Cox asserted that the issue is being handled efficiently and said SLASPA will continue to try different methods, to ensure that safety is maintained at the airport.

(7)(5)
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31 comments

  1. Too bad you didn't ask questions of the people that actually voted for you to find out how THEY feel about it. Not convinced that this is the best thing for St. Lucia. Our passports should never be for sale

    (1)(0)
    • The sale of identity mains NO MORE ST.LUCIAN. St.lucia gov is doing just like the slavery trad. Soon they will be saling HUMANS to go china and work. Then they will be eating dogs and cats lool..... little islanders.....

      (0)(0)
  2. I can do with a brid at my house now..

    (0)(0)
  3. Global wArming lmao that's a first for SLU. Who came up wid dat must have issues
    Anyway safe flight demain

    (0)(5)
  4. @kelba the aircraft isn't like you car where you will pull out the bird and figure everything safe, and then a couple miles down the road you break down, pull over to realize a part got damaged, and wait for you partner to buy a new part and bring for you. This aircraft has 250 passengers /lives, it flies at very high altitudes (no pulling over) and the aircraft or pilot is responsible and can take jail if he takes it upon himself to just leave. An engineer certified by BA must give the OK. So it doesn't matter if other BA fights landed, they are just on schedule. Nowhere in the world will one flight schedule be affected because another aircraft is down, that's why there are more than one aircraft. Look up the documentary on the Hudson River crash.

    (8)(1)
  5. it doesn't matter if 100 aircrafts have landed since. The whole issue is that that particular BA flight got a bird stuck in it's engine and so it is unable to leave until a number of procedures are followed. Most probably an engineering team has to be flown in and a complete survey done. So this has nothing to do with other aircrafts. The bird issue has been and still is a problem, but nowhere in this article says that that particular aircraft wasn't leaving because birds were still there, they said because there was a bird in its engine. Lucian's been to really read because otherwise it's bare ignorance some of you all speak

    (8)(0)
  6. I read the release I misunderstood the BA incident. I am therefore withdrawing my previous comments. However, the statement below, extracted from the release above, I don't agree with.

    "It was noted during those meetings that the influx of birds on the airfield was a direct result of global warming, as a majority of the birds spotted in the area are not species found in Saint Lucia"

    They are totally wrong about it. The bird in question is what we call "Kayal or Kayally". These bird have been here all my life (over 50). Anytime about 7pm there would lots of them on tree located at the west end (landing end) of the airport. During the day these bird would go in area where animal, especially cow, graze. Most of them would be at the Beausejour agricultural area (VFort). They feed on ticks. The schedule arrival time of the flight (6:35pm) is about the same time these birds return to the trees for the night. To reach their home from beausejour, they would have to cross the airport.

    (4)(3)
  7. kenny anthony and company that dere.....lmao

    (0)(2)
  8. BIRD ATTACK.................LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (0)(0)
  9. The delayed aircraft was struck by birds which may have caused mechanical or body damage to the aircraft. The aircraft will have to undergo a safety check and if damages are found to be critical for the safe operation of the aircraft, it will remain grounded until repairs are made to the satisfaction of responsible authorities, at which time clearance will be given for the aircraft to resume it's flights.
    When personnel is involved extreme caution is taken for their safety.

    (2)(0)
  10. @ Mr.A you made my day! Thank u

    (0)(0)
  11. Understand whats a birdstrike before commenting birdstrike does not mean birds on the runway.Lol

    (2)(0)
  12. I say this because everything that happen to them idiot lucians they must blame the man. They partying all weekend when monday come no bread nor sugar, oh boy things hard vat n kenny, why didn't u go by chas n shop first? Truth b told.

    (10)(2)
  13. Poor jab kenny thats your fort ee(not fault) you should ah stop the birds from coming there because u r the rep. Ha ha hi aa lol.

    (73)(5)
  14. There is something fishy about them 2 British aircraft on the ground at Hewanorra Airport. The mechanical problem with Virgin Atlantic, I can understand, if that's what happened. At 12noon today the British Airways flight is still on the ground. Are the birds still on the runway?

    (0)(19)
    • People please research before commenting please. I work in the aviation industry and I've seen so many bird stricks. This can crash an aircraft immediately. Remember that plane which landed in the Hudson River in new York it was as a result of a bird strick. A small bird in the engine of the plane shuts it down immediately and engineers sometimes have to put apart and reassemble the entire engine. Then u need to get clearance before that plane can live.
      Maybe British airways has to fly in engineers from another country.

      (23)(0)
      • If you work in the environment, please explain to us why 6 flight landed today, including a British Airways and a Virgin Atlantic Flight. If bird were the problem (I under the damage bird can cause) why did these flights landed and the BA flight cannot leave?

        (0)(7)
    • I do not think it's a matter of the birds still being on the runway (in fact they are probably still flying around the area). I think the issue is to ensure that no damage was done to the airplane - be it to the engine, propellers etc. It is a safety check. Over 200 lives are at stake here.

      (3)(0)
    • It's not fishy. ..its a bird-en.

      (0)(0)
  15. I need to see those birds...interesting

    (0)(4)
  16. Just now they will say even homosexuals are caused by global warming.

    (15)(3)
    • All that rubbing causes friction, which causes heat...all those heated lesbian vaginas are causing Global Warming! It all makes sense! >_ <

      (0)(0)
  17. Attack of the birds!

    (1)(0)

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