Gov’t signs contract for supervision of works at Douglas-Charles Airport

Anthony Burnette-Biscombe of La Robe Creole Limited (left) exchanges contract with Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Works, Kendall Johnson. In the background is Public Works Minister Miriam Blanchard and Emile Lancelot
Anthony Burnette-Biscombe of La Robe Creole Limited (left) exchanges contract with Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Works, Kendall Johnson. In the background is Public Works Minister Miriam Blanchard and Emile Lancelot

The government of Dominica has signed a contract with La Robe Creole Ltd for the supervision of works at the Douglas-Charles Airport.

The Douglas-Charles Rehabilitation Project is valued at $30-million and Chief Technical Officer, in the Ministry of Public Works and Ports, Emile Lancelot, said the supervisor/consultant is expected to represent the government on site and ensure that the works are done satisfactorily in a timely manner.

“The primary role of the consultant is to supervise the contract which is ongoing with SOTRADOM, which is in the value of $30-million,” he explained. “The consultant is expected to represent the government on site in overseeing the works, to ensure that it is done in a timely manner and also to ensure that it is done to the standard—in terms of quality—that is expected. The airport being a very important piece of infrastructure to Dominica, we have to ensure that the works are done to the highest standard possible. The consultant will be engaged until the end of the project…”

The works include repairs to the three taxiways, drainage rehabilitation, repair to the runway, repair to the wall along the river, as well as the construction of an extension of the sea wall, and a new crossing structure (east towards Wesley).

There are also ongoing fencing works at the airport, which are reportedly, in an advanced stage.

The project is expected to last four months.

The airport facility was severely damaged on August 27, during the passage of Tropical Storm Erika, due to flooding by the Melville Hall River.
Following the passage of storm, the Government of Dominica signed an EC$31.27-million contract with SOTRADOM SAS for rehabilitation works.

On Wednesday, January 6th, fencing material arrived at the Woodbridge Bay Port aboard a Trinidad and Tobago coast guard vessel for works at the airport.

douglas charles contract signing

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  1. a few eating all
    April 20, 2016

    Dominicans are being fooled again and again and again by the Doc…….et al. A few shall eat all. Remember the construction of the famous villas, the property of …….. and whose name featured one way or the other in that?

    Last Years, millions spent on airport, this year more millions. Given that the airport is located on the river bed, every year expect millions to be spent on that same airport. Climate change is real.

    Dominicans are allowing themselves to be fooled again and again and again, bamboozled by the Doc…….

  2. Observer
    April 20, 2016

    30 million in 4 months? That’s a high rate of consumption of money. Why can’t we get a breakdown of the cost? What is material cost? How much in engineering fees? How much is labor cost? I always see a total price, but we have to insist on reporting a breakdown, to track our money!

    • pro moveaway from Douglas Charles
      April 20, 2016

      The same thought came to mind.. guess they are just importing the walls, runway pieces just as the fencing.. Then again they know it all.. Guess the consultant working for a $1.00 a day too. I know that airport is what we have for now but another $30 million in that bad investment which is already in excess of 300 million? Ask them whether escalation of commitment exists?

  3. Joan
    April 20, 2016

    Jaques Gardakhan again? Being recyl ed. . How can a person who never had an account course manage our financial problems.

  4. john paul
    April 19, 2016

    there are some foolish and small mind Dominicans who think that we can do well without an international airport,it’s folks like these with these kind of mind set,that the reason why Dominica is so backward.

  5. john paul
    April 19, 2016

    so wait minister,only during election time you talk about international airport.but now election time is over now, you are again wasting money on melville hall.please your foolishness need to get real and start being honest.

  6. radio cord kapi
    April 19, 2016

    La robe creole ltd was the supervisor of the works at the NCTE at stockfarm and look at the mess of a building that was the outcome that the government has to be getting money to retrofit….the government just recyle its boys eventhough their work has been less than impressive. Hope it does a better supervisory job on that project.

  7. Wait
    April 19, 2016

    why are these contracts being given out without being tendered , where they advertised in the papers.
    Was it diliberate ? These days people getting kickbacks for being awarded contracts. Hope this is not the case.
    Stop spending money on patch work to airport , can you see the flood waters will do the same damage.
    If the country doesn’t have the money to build and international airport i, why won’t they get a company to build it and operate it on a lease for a Couple or years , and then give it to Dominica when the lease is up.
    No wonder Liat treating Dominica like that. You are at the mercy of the one and only. Stupppessss

  8. Anna Prince
    April 19, 2016

    DNO Please verify your information; “The project is expected to last four (4) months”. If this is correct I smell a Manicou because this would mean spending $7.8175 million per month. How are all these projects being awarded without a single notice on the media? What is happening? Is there any entity in Dominica who can take objection to this type of contract awards? Or can someone correct me and direct me to the evidence that everything is being done above board?
    I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt but if not will the professionals take a stand to stop that madness. It appears only white people and red supporters get contracts in Dominica.

    • April 20, 2016

      Forget the color its the person that can do the job right we are to quick to jump & condemn give people a chance lets look & learn then make judgement

  9. Me
    April 19, 2016

    Sotradom S.A. is a company personally owned by Jaques Gardakhan. Surprised anyone?

  10. Done
    April 19, 2016

    My fellow Dominicans please listen,, y waste 30 million on this airport…. Y not establish a new runway and taxiway on the land that the previous government had perchse, which is not far from this airport… Y can’t we bury our Ego and work towards development… We continue to make a full of ourselves in the international world.. The rever continues to show us the airport is in its path my ppl come on …
    Mr PM please lead the ppl in the right direction.. I have been a great fan of yours but your decisions continue to disappoint me…

  11. Country Man
    April 19, 2016

    Is it that we don’t have young people with the necessary skills to do this work? It seems people are being pulled from retirement to do the work that should be done by younger professionals. We need to build capacity or else we are in for a rude awakening.

  12. Lost
    April 19, 2016

    Who is La Robe Creole Ltd? A little history on them, and how much are they being paid.


    • Tjebe Fort
      April 19, 2016

      The same people that used to run La Robe Creole restaurant. Maybe supervising Skerrit’s projects pays better because the same fellow did the same for the State House, the Moroccan hotel and the infamous properties in the north alleged to belong to P.M. He definitely worked with Supria Singh, who was in charge of Skerrits villa in Vieille Case and the Blaircourt property in Savanne Paille. The records for that are there because Lennox Linton gave all the details in his weekly program on Q95 Between you & me. I remember that well. Maybe Tony Burnette is a Dominican now but he was definitely born in England.

    • April 20, 2016

      This man has bean in Dominica before hurricane David tony Burnette work on many projects in Dominica he is a very good choice and I am sure he will do a good job no party when he come to his work he was the one that open La Robe creole restaurant ii you don’t know

      • Me
        April 20, 2016

        You are right Wallace, Tony is a bean and has sprouted in Dominican soil.

    • Dominican
      April 20, 2016

      The food they supervising? I know they have a restaurant at the airport

      • Me
        April 20, 2016

        You call that a restaurant. I have seen works canteens looking better than that. They don’t even serve a decent cup of coffee!

    • Malgraysa
      April 20, 2016

      A very good question. Unless a fixed fee has been agreed payment for supervision of works is based on the value of the project, 5% not being unusual. Mr. Burnette-Biscombe could be a guardian of many of Roosevelt Skerrit’s proverbial skeletons in cupboards and it may be wise to keep him sweet.

  13. Floridian Diaspora
    April 19, 2016

    Better idea, demolish this ki pool that you all call an airport. It is an embarrassment to Dominica and the Caribbean region by extension. It’s outdated, nasty, dirty, filthy, rusty galvanize on the roof, pig pen toilets, limited restaurant, no shops, it’s simply outclassed by all other airports in the Caribbean. This unqualified broke government would be better off finding ways to attract tourist to the island and build an international airport in a suitable location. This airport has been cursed by the Dog-Last Charles name they gave it. It will continue to flood.

    • Dominican
      April 20, 2016

      I agree it is stupid the way that place was built. They used the skeleton of the old building and just made it look more pretty. When you have checked in with your luggage you must go outside to a hole in the wall where you can not see the person serving you, to pay your departure tax, right there in the open. That is so backward. Then you must proceed to a closed door before they let you in the security area of the departure hall, that is smaller than their VIP lounge. If they do not admit you straight away you must wait again outside. I did not see any facilitity for refreshments in that waiting lounge except for vending machine with limited choice. And that place they call a restaurant is a disgrace. A greasy spoon cafe in the U.K. would be better than that. I think that airport was built for VIP first and common people second.

    • pro moveaway from Douglas Charles
      April 20, 2016

      Alas.. you too harsh.. but yes better can be done and frankly them man not interested.

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