An aircraft of this company, a LET 410, carried out a runway excursion, without gravity, on November 4 by landing on the temporary laterite runway of the small aerodrome. The aircraft had difficulty braking on the ground made slippery by the rain.
Air Guyane has therefore decided to no longer serve the city sine die.
“The temporary runway has not yet been tested”, justified Christian Marchand, director of Air Guyane, which carries 37,000 passengers each year on the Cayenne-Maripasoula line.
The historic runway of the small airfield, covered with a hard surface, has been under construction for a few weeks and for a period of six months. But, with the rainy season looming, Mr. Marchand fears that this deadline will be exceeded.
Normally, Maripasoula is only accessible by plane or canoe on the Maroni River.
“The plane is our road. Without a plane, everything is blocked”, testified Lama Topo, first deputy mayor of Maripasoula.
According to him, this situation “kills the local economy, the construction sites are at a standstill: the future high school, the future road between Maripasoula and Papaïchton”, a neighboring town 35 kilometers from the runway but without an aerodrome.
The only alternative at this point is to land at Grand-Santi, downstream from the Maroni, then continue by canoe. River navigation that can take “up to five hours”, according to a transport professional.
About fifty teachers were unable to return to Maripasoula for the resumption of classes on Monday after the holidays, according to the rectorate. All schools in Maripasoula and Papaïchton, except one, are nevertheless open.
“The inhabitants are under house arrest,” said Jonathan Abienso, spokesperson for the collective of the inhabitants of Maripasoula, stressing that it was impossible for them to go to Cayenne to carry out procedures or consult a specialist for example.
The city experienced several weeks of blockage in October, with residents demanding, among other things, more air rotations. A grievance accepted by Air Guyane but which will only be implemented when flights resume.