Skerrit spoke at a consultation on Monday

Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has revealed it will cost about US$220-million to build an international airport in Dominica.

He was speaking at a National Consultation on Monday, April 24th 2017 at the State House Conference Centre under the theme ‘Development Prospects for Dominica within the context of the Citizenship By Investment Program (CBI) as a platform for Raising the Funds Necessary to Finance Development Activities.’

“The projected cost of it, everything included, except for land acquisition, a complete terminal and all the necessary components of an airport would be in the region of about US$220-million,” he stated. “That is the cost of the airport as being proposed.”

Skerrit pointed to “creative” ways in which the project will be funded since no bank will give out that kind of money.

“The intention of the government is to set up an Airport Development Fund and every month allocate from the CBI (Citizenship by Investment Program) funds, a particular percentage that would go to that fund with the view of raising as much money as possible,” he stated. “And we also have some other creative ways that we will articulate to the country at the appropriate time.”

According to the Prime Minister, last year the government engaged a firm to do a feasibility study on the possibility of an international airport for Dominica and to advise on the best-suited site.

He stated that although the best site identified was in the vicinity of Ross University in Portsmouth, the experts found a site close to Woodfordhill.

“Close to where Dame Eugenia Charles had identified, not the precise location, but certainly in that locality,” he stated.

Skerrit noted that experts with the firm have been doing a number of studies “quietly” over the past six months and reported back to the government on April 20 on the best site that will minimize dislocation and other things.

“We will be looking at a runway of 2,500 meters in length and associated accompaniments,” he noted.

Skerrit said the decision will be taken this week to commission additional studies such as an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and soil studies, “to better inform us of the type of soil that we are dealing with on that particular site.”

“Once we get back the EIA, we get back the further studies of the soil, then the intention is to move to the design phase so that we can come back to the country in a more comprehensive consultation like this including one in the Woodfordhill area to present this proposal to the people of the country, to our citizens and to get your views, your suggestions on the international airport and how do you believe we will go about constructing this airport,” he noted.