$41-million in damages at Douglas-Charles Airport

The Douglas Charles Airport after Erika. Photo Credit: GIS
The Douglas Charles Airport after Erika. Photo Credit: GIS

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Works, Kendell Johnson, has reported that damages suffered by the Douglas-Charles Airport during the passage of Tropical Storm Erika is in excess of $41-million.

During the storm the airport received a severe pounding due to flooding by the Melville Hall River, which caused every piece of equipment at that facility to be destroyed and therefore had to be replaced.

On September 2, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit revealed that the Douglas Charles Airport was significantly impacted by the storm and Government would require $39.5-million to have it restored.

Johnson addressed a press conference on Wednesday
Johnson addressed a press conference on Wednesday

Johnson said at a press conference on Wednesday that figure has since increased.

“We have quantified, with the help of local professional engineers, the damage to the facility is in excess of $41-million,” he revealed. “We have damage to the fencing, the runway, the taxiway, the apron, the landside, access roads, the equipment that were housed in the building.”

Johnson mentioned further that the rehabilitation works have been packaged in two phases.

“One will look at the fencing, runway, taxiway, apron and the landside access roads,” he explained. “Phase two needs a bit more detailed intervention because of the dynamics of the Melville Hall River. It is a rather large river and we need to assess the hydrology and the hydrolic capacity of the channel before we design the necessary interventions.”

He said the Ministry of Public Works has received proposals for the rehabilitation for phase one, “and those we have assessed, and we have made a recommendation to start negotiations for the construction of the permanent works.”

He revealed that later down in the year the ministry will be looking at the issue of lightings at the airport.

“The airport lighting was damaged so we are also seeking proposals for the installation of the runway lighting,” Johnson noted. “We have discussed the matter with the aviation authority and we are proposing the installation of a solar lighting system that can be controlled by the air traffic people.”

Johnson added, “That is being worked on as a matter of urgency, because of the limited flights that is now coming in at the airport. Beyond 5, O clock all flights are stopped because of the dark conditions.”

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  1. Francisco Telemaque
    October 23, 2015

    At this very moment there is a hurricane with speeds of more than two hundred miles per hour heading to hit land in Mazallino on the pacific cost of Mexico. This is the most powerful hurricane ever in history in the entire Western Hampshire!

    Massive flooding is anticipated, as waves rise to more than forty feet tall! Twenty inches of rain fall is also anticipated. Preacher Augustine, how do you account for this?

    Can you verify if God is now trying to get the attention of the Mexican, and the residential areas in Texas through which the hurricane will rip through?

    • Francisco Telemaque
      October 23, 2015


      That should be Manznillo Mexico Tomatlan Galveston in Texas will affected also.

  2. October 23, 2015

    In some instances Tropical Storm Erika was a blessing in disguise. Here, for example, is an opportunity for our blessed Dominica Labour Party Administration to present Dominicans with an upgraded State of the Art Douglas-Charles Airport. As a die-hard Labourite and “party insider” I am very confident in assuring the Nation’s public that your main Airport will be receiving an upgrade that will surprise, excite and amaze you. The Dominica Labour Party and it’s leadership is committed to excellence in improving and upgrading Dominica’s most vital and critical infrastructure. At this time of crisis, we are proud and happy to have an effective and pro-active Supreme Leader at the helm who is able to raise the necessary funds for such a massive undertaking. We, the Dominican Labourites at home and in the Diaspora, along with all God-fearing and patriotic Dominicans everywhere, recognize and appreciate the extraordinary leadership of Dr. Roosevelt M. Skerrit. Thank You! Thank…

    • Francisco Telemaque
      October 23, 2015

      I have always maintained that Dominica will never see any progress, as long as some politicians in the Labor Party are alive!

      All of these clowns from the captain to the cook; the dishwashers, and the floor cleaners, along with all the puppets like Laboroflove have to die, so that a more ambitious generation can come to prominence and change the status quo in that primitive backward place of our.

      Every Dominica idiot including Francisco Kid Dog Telemaque, has long recognized that it is imperative that the nation builds an International Airport, it is not only necessary; however, a necessity!

      So, to read the garbage about upgrade Charles/Douglass or Douglass/Charles swamp is nothing more than ludicrous. Skerrit squandered more than a half of a billion dollars upgrading that red yellow’ pink Elephant, only to result in what we now have named after the two irrelevant clowns in our nations history!

  3. The Prodical Son
    October 23, 2015

    Further proof of a government that keeps squandering tax payers money, with nothing to show as success. Here is Blackmoore in 20011:

    “Having spent to the tune of $116 M for realizing same‐day connection capability and ICAO compliance at Melville Hall Airport every civic‐minded Dominican earnestly looks forward to the bountiful rewards of this essential development and the advancement of our air access to the next level.” https://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/news/economy-development/redjet-expression-of-interest-in-operating-out-of-melville-hall-airport/

    I know they will try to blame their glaring failure, in every department on TS Erika, but fact is a very stubborn, and we all know even LIAT, which never had a scheduled night landing to Dominica, got to the point where they discontinued their late flight before Erika.

    I mean those wicked guys spent all these money build airport on a river, just to ensure they don’t continue building an international airport UWP…

  4. Tj
    October 23, 2015

    Mr Johnson we are supporting my point. If it wifi cost 41 M to rehabilitate Douglas/Charles. And remember it cost 100M before Erika to rehabilitate. The argument that it that we cannot built a new airport because of $$ see how much it cost us every time the flooding happens.

    Common sense would dictate that we concentrate on the propose site.

  5. Francisco Telemaque
    October 22, 2015

    Anybody who would spend more than forty-one million dollars on Melville Hall Airport, rather than seriously make an effort to build an International Airport, would have to be out of their mind.

    This would not make any economical sense whatsoever! I the first place it is inevitable, we cannot avoid, another flood which will cause the same amount of Damage, and probably more.

  6. October 22, 2015

    penny wise pound foolish this govt. is now bankrupt of good ideas they really need to get off our backs they are sucking the country dry just like how ticks are sucking the blood from an animal a cow for example.

  7. Lady in orange
    October 22, 2015

    really? what the little air port had in it to get damages up to $41 million dollars? that can’t be right. just like how they saying the country owes a billions dollars in dept! exactly what they owing the billion for? that couldve done so much for the country, but nope hospitals and schools still badly off, the infrastructure is not that great, what dominica owing a billion dollars for? how much did this air port originally cost to build?

  8. Tony
    October 22, 2015

    Hello and good afternoon my people. The photo that’s attached to this article shows the damage but can we please see a photo after the clean up. I understand It cost a lot of money for the clean up but I need to see how it look now because I am coming home for Christmas .

  9. Views Expressed
    October 22, 2015

    Where is Douglas Charles again..???????????Please update me…..

    I take it Melville Airport is still at Melville Hall in the village of Marigot!!!!!

    Thanks….safe flight

    • Francisco Telemaque
      October 23, 2015


      How about that?

      The same as how Charles and Douglas has long disappeared into oblivion, forgotten by Dominica; anything their names are written on in the country, shall also follow the two irrelevant men of the past into oblivion!

      If they repair; rebuild, or an eighty feet wall is built around it in order to protect it from future floods, and such disasters, the mighty wall will not evade the inevitable!

      Dat ting de go mash up again eh!

  10. October 22, 2015

    It’s was devastated, 41 million its a lot of money to bring this airport back in full operation,He didn’t mention anything about an international airport, I guess is not on their agenda,

  11. 4progress
    October 22, 2015

    that money is a would a very good contribution to the construction of an international airport. NO – not top priority. How stupid of me

  12. 4progress
    October 22, 2015

    That money could be a down payment on a international airport. No – not top priority. How stupid of me.

  13. Dominican abroad
    October 22, 2015

    Greeting to my Dominican people I believe now is the time and Its clear that we need to find a different place to build the Airport. The River is to close and its costing lots of money to repair.
    Let pray that Someone will support Dominica in that Project.

    Dominica abroad

  14. derp
    October 22, 2015

    so um international airport time hmm fix it to functional, spend the money on a new airport

  15. Ryan
    October 22, 2015

    My Dominicans Please put our ignorance a-side and focus on the construction of a new airport with international standards. $41 Millon can take us far, the previous government had already perchase land , my ppl Please lets move foward in the right direction..
    an international Air port dosnt mean we need the huge fancy buildings, all we need is air strip and land space for jets and comunication devices .. the Fancy building and all can come later its a process ,, i have landed in airports in the U.S.A that are incomplete and normal business still goes on…My people put politics aside and think of nation building …

  16. grell
    October 22, 2015

    Mr.Johnson my question,should we put this back into the airport,or find ways to build a modernize airport.This will happen again.

  17. FED UP
    October 22, 2015

    Has an independent body been formed to keep track of the donations Dominica has received? Who is the objective third party that is making sure that these funds are properly allocated? Can we ensure that these monies are being properly spent? WE CAN’T KEEP BEGGING DOMINICA – WE WILL HAVE TO PAY THE PIPER EVENTUALLY.

    As an aside. Who is paying the hospital bill of the first Lady as she waits to have her baby in the US? ARE THESE OUR FUNDS? Is she not American – thus making her children American? Or is she a naturalized American – who wants to ensure that her kids are American – and have American opportunities? Only in Dominica can this happen and the people say nothing. Can you imagine if the wife of the US President, Canadian Prime Minister, English Prime Minister, Cuban Leader, Chinese Leader – had their children anywhere else, but in the countries that they are currently leading? Can you imagine the uproar?

    But we are sheep – following the shepherd off the cliff.

    • Tony
      October 22, 2015

      To: Fed Up.

      Hello and good evening my people. I agree with the second paragraph of your post. I have tried to figure out how our people think about things but I just can’t figure them out. Maybe they walk with their head in the sand or they are just blind.

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