Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said his government plans to meet with a wide cross section of stakeholders this week to discuss the possibility of creating an Airport Development Authority for the international airport.
“We are engaging a whole wide cross section of stakeholders, this week coming. God’s willing, I will also meet with some private sector stakeholders to share with them where we are and to solicit their support in this regard,” he said. “The intention here is to look at broadening the membership of the technical committee that will help oversee this airport, and we are discussing, within the government, even the possibility of creating an airport development authority which will be a statutory entity to oversee the development of the airport.”
Skerrit said that the government is trying to avoid “the slow and bureaucratic” process that exists in the public service and they are hoping to make a decision very soon.
Meanwhile, according to the prime minister, plans are advancing for the construction of the international airport. He revealed that payments are being made to landowners in the areas of Wesley and Woodford Hill who are being affected by the project.
“We are making progress on the international airport; this is occupying all of my time. I am personally leading in the process towards the international airport to ensure that we advance the actions,” Skerrit stated…“We are finalizing negotiations with several property owners, we have started the process of paying property owners for their properties and that will be an ongoing process. We will start the construction of residencies for some people who will be affected in the next couple weeks…”
He said his government has been receiving tremendous cooperation and collaboration from property owners, “and we are very grateful for this.”
The government believes that an international airport will yield benefits such as enhancing agricultural export prospects and creating jobs.
“We have serious investment in tourism with increase in hotel rooms, increase in the process of five star hotels in Dominica and I believe we need to ensure that we can sustain these investments,” Skerrit noted. “There is tremendous potential in agriculture, but how do we get our fruits and vegetables, our flowers to the market place quicker.”