Dumping and vandalism have taken over the vacant former launchpad of Bajan Helicopters along Carlisle Bay, The City.
Following its closure in 2009, the building has suffered heavy damage and has decayed to a shadow of its former self, when it was a base of operations not only for tours, but also for rescue and surveillance.
It is not only the helipad which is in a mess, but the rocks bordering the sea are littered with garbage, including items such a stop sign, what looks like a billboard and a metal casing of some sort.
A business owner in the area, who gave his name only as Bynoe, said it was a disgrace.
“It is the general population of Barbados who does that. The helicopter pad has become a public dump and a bathroom and people ‘tief’ everything from in there,” he said.
Bynoe lamented that the office space was once suitable for other businesses to take over the area but it was useless now, adding “all sorts of things” now happened in it. He said the nearby public car park only exacerbated the problem.
“People park, then go and do all sorts of things, although the vagrants play a big part as well. As for me, I keep my area clean but I have no control over there,” he said.
The MIDWEEK?NATION spoke to a carwasher in the car park about the situation. Declining to identify himself, he suggested more garbage bins be placed in the area.
“The lovers like to come out here but people also come to eat and drop the boxes all about. It’s not right but you can’t talk to people these days. Sanitation needs to put garbage cans out here; they can lock them to the poles so people would see them and use them,” he said.
As for the helipad area, the man likened it to “an elephant graveyard”.
“It really needs a good cleansing. Government is not doing anything with it, they are just letting it run to ruin.”
A look inside revealed broken windows, glass littering the ground, a broken air-conditioning unit on the ground and garbage everywhere. The hangar was not exempt, as there was a vehicle frame inside.
Several agencies were contacted as to which had responsibility for the upkeep of the area. Public relations officer for the Sanitation Service Authority Carl Padmore said the area was private and thus not under their control, suggesting the National Conservation Commission (NCC) in terms of the rocks on the nearby coastline.
General manager of the NCC Keith Neblett also said he did not think it was their responsibility either, but said he would have someone take a look at it nevertheless. He in turn suggested the Barbados Port Authority.
When called, the paper was told that chief executive officer, David Jean-Marie, was in a meeting.
Caroll Morris Sr, who once operated Bajan Helicopters from the site, told the MIDWEEK?NATION the land was under the control of the Ministry of Housing and Lands, adding he could not bear to see it in its present state.
“I hate to even pass near the area and I don’t even park there anymore. I put more than $2 million into that business, so you can imagine how I feel to see it now,” he said.