Plans for the construction of an international airport in Dominica are progressing according to Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Roosevelt Skerrit.
The Prime Minister, who recently returned from China where he met with officials to discuss the airport, told reporters on Wednesday that a document will soon be made available to the public about the details of the project.
“We made good progress there (China)… very soon we will make public a document and contents of that document which we have been able to sign which speaks to the international airport, which speaks to the financing of the international airport, which speaks to the managing of the airport,” he said.
According to him the Dominica Labor Party always had plans for the construction of an international airport as outlined in the party’s Growth and Social Protection Strategies Paper and manifesto.
“As we have always indicated, you go to our Growth and Social Protection Strategies Paper and you will see in that document the government has spoken about an international airport,” he stated. “You go to our manifesto you will see that the Labor party has spoken about an International Airport.”
The Prime Minister reiterated that Dominica is unable to fund such an expensive project as an international airport on its own.
“We have always maintained that the treasury of Dominica and the tax payers of Dominica the citizens of Dominica, cannot afford to pay for an airport by themselves and therefore you are going to require tremendous grant funding or an investor coming in and putting the bulk of the resources into an international airport,” he noted.
He said this is the reason why the government is pursuing investors and grant funding for the airport.
“And where the government can put in some of its own resources, the government is prepared to do that. But talking about the government or the country underwriting 100 percent of the cost of the international airport can’t happen,” he said.
Prime Minister Skerrit added that the government will stick to the location once proposed by the Dominica Freedom Party for an international airport.
“We are looking at the original site of the Freedom party and that is based on professional, independent, technical advice,” he remarked. “It wasn’t based on a political decision, it was based on independent advice from people who are qualified in those areas.”
In 1989, the Dominica Freedom Party had a plan drawn for an international airport with alignment from Woodfordhill Bay to Bottom Wesley near Sophia Bay, in an area generally known as Crompton Point.