President of the United Workers Party (UWP) Senator Isaac Baptiste has revealed that the party plans to have an international airport in operation on island by 2024.
He made the announcement during the party’s launch of its candidates for the next general election which took place at the Dame Eugenia Charles Boulevard on Sunday.
“Team Dominica will have an international airport operational by 2024,” Baptiste announced.
According to Baptiste lands were purchased by the Edison James administration since 1998 on the site recommended by an Engineering Firm.
In an article published on DNO dated October 23rd, 2014 Baptiste said the James government had prepared detailed designs for construction of the facility. A feasibility study had been done and 448 acres of land had been purchased from 161 land owners between Wesley and Woodford Hill for runway and airside facilities construction.
Further, the UWP Government had bought, by private treaty, the Londonderry Estate for hotel development and relocation of farmers who would have been displaced by the project.
“Therefore going forward the people of Wesley, WoodfordHill and Palm Tree in particular…property owners can now have peaceful nights,” Baptiste said “UWP Team Dominica administration confirms that your property, your house will remain yours.”
Baptiste said further that during construction phase of the international airport, the UWP government will seek private sector participation to establish a Dominica-based airline which will provide direct one stop and non-stop flights from Dominica to the ten existing international airports from Puerto Rico in the north to Grenada to the south of Dominica.
“We should no longer continue to invest and depend on LIAT only, to meet our air access needs,” he remarked.
Baptiste went on to say that the UWP will also provide fiscal and other incentives to existing and new players in the passenger ferry industry for guaranteed more regular, fast and safe reliable Ferry Service to Dominica from St Lucia is the south to Antigua in the north.
“UWP Team Dominica will immediately commission a feasibility study to inform expansion of commercial port facilities at Woodbridge Bay and at Long House Glanvillia,” he said.
He mentioned further that new and improved berthing facilities will be placed at Donkey Beach and Cabrits, Portsmouth, yacht marinas and Prince Rupert Bay, Lalay Coco and a Fresh Water Marina in the vicinity of the Layou River mouth.
He said implementation of these projects will be informed by detailed environmental impact studies.
“Timely Completion of these projects will greatly improve performance of the tourism and agriculture sector and the international trade industry resulting in the creation of hundreds of jobs,” Baptiste noted.
Meantime, he made it clear that none of the UWP candidates were offered offered payment to join team Dominica
“Members of the UWP Team know that the work will be tremendous “but we have discipline, experience, competence, commitment and [are] specialization prepared,” Baptiste stated.
He said, furthermore, the party has a vision for every sector of the Nature Island development which it promises to pursue commencing the very first day the UWP is elected into office.
“For most of the development sectors for immediate attention are, governance and public service, finance, state security, agriculture, tourism, education, health, industry, economic infrastructure, housing and human settlements and conservation,” he stated.
He said UWP, Team Dominica, under the leadership of Lennox Linton, will persist, strive to make Dominica the best place to work, the best place to live and to enjoy life.
Major initiatives to be implemented by Team Dominica are to improve the quality of life and create 12,000 new jobs by 2025 in Dominica.