§ Mr. Deakins
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) why the new international airport at Providenciales has been closed for resurfacing of the runway; and if he will make a statement;
(2) how many aircraft movements have occurred at Providenciales airport since it was opened;
(3) if he will conduct an inquiry as to whether any person or firm was guilty of negligence in the design, planning and construction of the runway at Providenciales airport;
(4) if he will institute an inquiry to establish the cause of the runway at Providenciales airport requiring resurfacing and to establish liability; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Raison
An examination of the runway by an independent expert consulting engineer was commissioned by the Overseas Development Administration on behalf of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government in September 1984.
Cracks in the surface were found to be not structurally serious and not untypical of constructions to the pavement design used in this case. Performance was found to be normal for this type of construction. The application of a second sand seal was recommended as a form of maintenance to prevent any worsening of the cracks and to improve the texture of the surface. The airport has been closed to scheduled jet services from 29 November while this work is in progress. It is expected to re-open on 21 December. The airport has remained open throughout this period to local flights. There have been 18,540 aircraft movements between 1 August 1982, when the airport was first commissioned, and 30 November 1984.