Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit has said that a contract for building an international airport in Dominica is possible by the middle of next year.
He said his government is committed to building such a facility because it will enhance the economic activity and opportunities on the island.
“The government is fully committed to the construction of the international airport,” he said. “We believe that this airport will enhance our economic and social development.”
He said a contract could be signed before the middle of next year.
“Don’t be surprised if before the middle of next year you see the signing of a contract for the international airport in Dominica,” he stated.
The Prime Minister said the running of a country is serious business and “you cannot make joke with it.”
“Because you are entrusted as a government with the lives and future of the people and you cannot say one thing tonight and tomorrow morning when you wake up because your head is hurting you, you say something differently, there must be consistency, you must be serious about it,” he said. “There are people who are saying they want an international airport, now that it is coming they are telling us, there is no need for an international airport, use the money for something else.”
He vowed that Dominica Labour Party, which he has the honor to lead, will build an international airport in the country, “for the people of Dominica.”
The construction of an international airport has long been spoken about in Dominica.
In November 2013, during a visit to China, Skerrit signed a US$300-million deal with Chinese company ASCG with “reconstruction of an international airport” among projects to be undertaken under the agreement.
The following month, Skerrit said that engineers from China were in Dominica to visit the construction site proposed, in Compton Point near Calibishie, so as to provide advice to the government of Dominica.
At a Dominica Labour Party Rally on May 5, 2014, Skerrit said that his government was actively pursuing several projects, including the construction of an international airport through the BOOT – Build, Own, Operate and Transfer – option, with a team of private developers from China.
Later that same month, the Prime Minister led a three-man delegation to China to “advance discussions on the construction of an international airport and other development projects.”
Upon his return from China, Skerrit told reporters that “good progress” was being made on the project and a document will soon be made available to the public about the details. That document was never made public.
In March 2017, Skerrit spoke to a group of students from the North East Comprehensive School and said that the airport will be built in the north-eastern part of the island.
He said an American firm was engaged to do all of the studies in relation to the international airport and would be doing a presentation to the cabinet on the 21st of April, 2017 on its finding,
He did not disclose the name of the American firm.
At a town hall meeting in March, 2017, Skerrit vowed that an international airport will become a reality in Dominica.
“I shall focus my energies to ensure it, that we can get the funding to build this international airport for our people,” he remarked.
In May 2018, Hurricane Maria was blamed for further progress on the international airport.
Skerrit however said that US$5-million have been set aside per month for the construction of such a facility and so far the Government has been able to set aside over EC$149 million.