Signs of growth

Since January 2016, there have been signs of growth and maturing in Guatemala’s aviation infrastructure. Even at our home base (MGQZ) in Quetzaltenango, things are changing. Soon a genuine security fence will provide the means to keep people and livestock from crossing the runway. Meanwhile, the new airport Administrator is about the task of patching open sections of wall that allow people and animals dangerously close to operating aircraft.

Modern tools makes short work.
Bro Mario, marvels at the efficiency of modern tools. Gloves and safety glasses are also something new.

Today Mario (hangar guard) and I, Chuck, are repurposing old fencing in a cooperative effort with the airport Jefe (boss). The reclaimed fencing and posts will be used for temporary patches until a continuous block will can be constructed.

Typical improvised tool
I borrowed this image to illustrate a typical improvised tool.

Brother Mario can’t seem to get over how much easier using power tools makes this work. Normally he would expect to use a (dull) hack saw all day long to cut down these 20 fence posts.

Various animals graze on or near the active runway.
Various animals graze on or near the active runway. Look closely, there is a footpath leading to where people and animals make their way across the actual runway.

The neighbors that live just outside the airport parameter are having a hard time adjusting to the new security regulations. Traditionally nearby villagers use the gates in front of the Mercy Wings hangar, bring in their cows, goats, and sheep to eat of the plump green grass. To the mind of a Mayan villager, it’s foolishness, not make use of the growing grass.

On the other hand, our Mayan brothers and sisters are not aware of the dangers of being close to spinning propellers, taxiing or landing aircraft. Kind of like rejecting Salvation through Jesus Christ and not understanding the eternal consequences…………but that’s another story.

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