A heavy downpour that forced torrents of rainwater under the main doors of the terminal at VC Bird International Airport, and which quickly flowed across the floor, created quite a stir early Monday afternoon.
Both arriving and departing travellers as well as airport employees were taken aback at the sight of their vivid, pristine reflections in the water swirling around their feet. However, genuine surprise soon turned to dismay for the travellers who were then forced to walk and drag their luggage across the wet floor.
The source of the problem was reported to be clogged drain pipes that were supposed to channel the water away from the roof of the canopy and into an underground drainage system.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Antigua & Barbuda Airport Authority (ABAA), Stanley Smith, explained what transpired to OBSERVER media.
“I’ve spoken with the Chinese project manager about what transpired. What happened is that the down pipes that empty the rainwater that comes off the canopy were blocked. The pipes go directly into the drain,” he said, adding, “If those pipes are blocked what you’ll find is that the water will back up, up there, and will have the least resistance getting in the building.
“Because the pedestrian walkway (outside) is at the same level as the terminal floor, any overflow will find its way into the building … If the drains weren’t clogged you would not have had that sheet of water coming in,” Smith said.
The airport authority’s CEO attributed the cause of the clogged waterway to “debris”, and although he was unable to confirm the type, he suggested that it could possibly be construction debris.
However, he confirmed that the issue has since been resolved.
“They (the pipes) have been cleared so we really don’t expect that this would happen again.”