UPDATE: Douglas Charles Airport re-opens

The interior of the facility was flooded on Tuesday
The interior of the facility was flooded on Tuesday

The Douglas-Charles Airport officially re-opened today Wednesday, March 16, 2016 with the scheduled arrival of a commercial flight by noon. All essential services have been fully restored.

Late afternoon on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, the Douglas-Charles Airport was closed due to flooding caused by the Melville Hall River which affected the ground floor of the Airport Terminal.

Based on an assessment done by airport personnel, the runway and aircraft parking areas were not affected. However, because of the flooding of the terminal building the airfield was temporarily closed.

Following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika in August 2015, the Government of Dominica signed an EC$31.27 million contract with SOTRADOM SAS to undertake rehabilitation works of the facility to include the following scope: (i) the western end of the runway; (ii) resurfacing of the apron; (iii) resurfacing of the taxi ways; (iv) restoration of the runway shoulders; (v) drainage along the runway; (vi) repairs to the access road and construction of retaining walls along the river; (vii) restoration of the runway drainage and; (viii) rehabilitation of the damaged road leading to Wesley. Work is ongoing and is expected to be completed by June 2016.

In addition to further improving the safety of the Douglas-Charles Airport, dredging of the Melville Hall River will commence as soon as the level of the river recedes.

The Ministry of Public Works and Ports apologizes for any inconvenience caused as a result of the closure of the Douglas-Charles Airport and wishes to thank the traveling public and the personnel at the Airport for understanding the need for taking such a decision out of an abundance of caution.

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  1. Anthony P. Ismael
    March 17, 2016

    This is nothing more than a clever scheme to transfer money from the treasury into the pockets of the most highly anointed Red Supporters. How else can you define this continuous asine decision to throw good money into this pit with the same problem of flooding reoccuring each time we receive heavy rainfall.
    It is becoming painful to love my country with each passing day.
    There’s a level of stubborness that persists without any end in sight. How many more flooding episodes are required, before a decision is made to find an alternate location for airport location?

  2. abc
    March 17, 2016

    now that’s a big problem right there something needs to be done asap.We shouldn’t expect this everytime it rains

  3. Me
    March 17, 2016

    Surprise, surprise. The contractor, Socradom of Les Abymes (Guadeloupe) belongs to Jaques Gaddarkhan!

  4. Crab and Manicou Hunter
    March 16, 2016

    I have an idea. It’s time for Carib Express to start departing from Douglas Charles daily. They can add another ferry, besides the one that leaves from the Roseau Terminal. :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P

    • Tj
      March 17, 2016

      Oh, for a moment I thought you said Crab Express…but that would have to leave from Portsmouth wouldn’t it?

  5. I88iiu don't say
    March 16, 2016

    Instead of spending all this money to fix what’s
    broken, just relocating the airport to a different
    location will saved them alot of headache in the
    long run.

    • TeteMorne I From...
      March 17, 2016

      Makes too much sense to do just that. They prefer to argue and fight among themselves

  6. Mike
    March 16, 2016

    Any news on the re-opening of the airport? Today at 5 pm it was still closed while they claimed it was open again at Wednesday at 12.

    • Me
      March 17, 2016

      Well that is on the P.M’s fancy square watch. Someone told me that flexitime was invented in Dominica.

    • Korbo
      March 17, 2016

      That is not true, I work at the airport and the first Seaborne flight landed wayyyyy before 5pm and the first Liat flight landed around 3:30. I agree that something needs to be done, but spreading propaganda does not help

  7. Dash 7
    March 16, 2016

    The real destruction doh reach yet. That’s what u get when educated fools who call themselves engineers try to divert a running river and comdemns a running stream!!! You can’t play with nature fools

  8. Joan
    March 16, 2016

    When someone pays you to vote for them you cannot mak ,e any demands or hold them accountable for anything they have paid you a already Dominicans you all did not know that?

  9. Manmike
    March 16, 2016

    I am happy to know that there is a plan to dredge the river. That should have been the first thing done after TSE. I am not sure if it is our engineers who seem to make poor decisions or is it the elected officals who insist on these poor approaches. Had the dredging be done before maybe this week’s flooding could have been avoided. Just an observation. It takes time to plan for a retaining wall but dredging could have started earlier.

    • Crab and Manicou Hunter
      March 17, 2016

      I’m not sure how much engineering is required to realize that you’re diverting a moving body of water downstream with tall mountains and run off water behind it. All decisions need not be extremely complicated if you ask me.

  10. March 16, 2016

    with national consensus, we need to relocate to another location.

  11. Stop fooling ourselves
    March 16, 2016

    We need to stop fooling ourselves. You cannot expect to have a “tourism” industry without a proper airport, without a golf course, without a shopping mall, without an entertainment district, without a movie cinema, without a marina facility, without a hospital ect…these are just the basics, every single country in the region has at least these basics covered except Dominica, too much obiah in de place!!!

  12. March 16, 2016

    Those who can do better do better.

    • Tjebe Fort
      March 17, 2016

      Good Popam, start with yourself and don’t vote Skerrit nex time brother.

  13. syncronize
    March 16, 2016

    fed up and really fed up with this government

  14. Peter Potter
    March 16, 2016

    Why invest any further money in this useless airport, just ask Liat to mount floats on their aircraft and they are good to go to land year round at Melville Hall. What a sorry country governed by a tribe of red ants!

  15. Nana
    March 16, 2016

    EC$31.27m, yet no mention made of works inside the airport terminal. Is this not included in the vast amount to be spent?

  16. wow
    March 16, 2016

    Finally we have an olympic size swiming pool

  17. Prophet
    March 16, 2016

    This area looks like a large River bed. Dominicans before use to build alongside Rivers and now our generation have to pay for it.

  18. Ideal
    March 16, 2016

    I don’t know what they did to our airport but something is not right, since them Venezuelans work on that airport and then they changed the name bad things happening. Please reinforce the wall from higher up. Visitors and airlines will stop coming to Dominica if we don’t have a proper airport to land.

    • Bwa Bande
      March 17, 2016

      Pierro and Rossie don’t agree that this airport should be named in their honor after all the work they did to put labour in power. That’s an insult to the memory of two powerful men from North and South …………………………………………………… They wanted good for us………..not this!!

      • Tjebe Fort
        March 17, 2016

        I agree bro. That new name was not legal and is a curse. Roosevelt Skerrit used these men’s names to promote himself. That is definitely a curse and their spirits ,will not have peace till that is corrected.

  19. passing cloud
    March 16, 2016

    Skerrit needs to change the name of the airport from “Douglas Charles Airport” to >Skerrit Savrin River Port’. I say so because since the name was changed it’s been one disaster after the other, which means Rosie and Piero, two real laborites at heart are not happy with skerrit’s nonsense.

  20. March 16, 2016

    The Airport is fine, They just need to build a wall . Don’t know who’s gonna pay for it. :mrgreen: Dominica doesn’t need an international airport. You can hardly full a little 60 seats airplane to Dominica on a daily basis what are you guys talking about. Only the PM doing most of the traveling.

    • me
      March 16, 2016

      Mexico will pay for the wall….. :-D :-D :-D :-D

      • Tjebe Fort
        March 17, 2016

        No, China, they have the most experience and are famous for building walls.

    • ♚ El Guapo™ ♚
      March 16, 2016

      Dominica doesn’t need an International airport RIGHT NOW because it’s managed by morons with no VISION and no IDEAS. Say it how it is

    • TeteMorne I From...
      March 17, 2016

      ” only the PM doing most of the travelling.” That one had me LOL. :mrgreen:

    • john paul
      March 17, 2016

      shut you talking pure ignorance.

    • Dante Jones
      March 17, 2016

      How do you expect to fill seats on planes that people don’t want to travel on? Who wants to pay almost twice the price of a ticket to have to hop 4 different islands and wait in strange airports just to get to their destination? Who wants to have have the liat experience twice in the same day on different islands? Let me tell you who. NO ONE. The only people who bear the hardship that getting into Dominica is are those who love the country enough or are intrigued enough about the island to go through that. Those types of people are very few. The majority of travellers want comfort and ease of travel. There are many options and despite how beautiful the island might be there are others just as beautiful and if they are easier to get to you can bet your bottom dollar that the average traveller will choose to go somewhere else.

    • Malatete
      March 17, 2016

      Unfortunately you are right. LIAT would have trouble filling their smallest aircraft, the ATR42 which can carry max. 52, on a regular basis with paying passengers on their Dominica route. Not only that, consider the cost per of maintaining an airport like Melville Hall per passenger carried. I don’t know if ever an analysis of that was ever done but I bet it can not be cheap. The only answer is to generate more passenger traffic and frankly, that is mainly up to us.

  21. QUEENS
    March 16, 2016

    UNBELIEVABLE! So soon after Erika. We need to change location and build the International Airport.

  22. Weh
    March 16, 2016

    The country nice boyyyyyy

  23. Whistler
    March 16, 2016

    another of Dominica’s mediocrity module’s

  24. Lost Cause
    March 16, 2016

    What are the people of this county really doing? Why aren’t they holding this government accountable. Considering that we talk about how we are moving towards growing the tourism economy, that is definitely not what is required.

    Quantifying this loss to the economy,I’m sure this is costing Dominica quite a bit. The powers that be can’t even keep an airport functiinal.

    My God, what else is needed to prove that this government isn’t up to the task. How much more inept can a government be for the people of Dominica say that enough is enough

  25. Travel Advisory
    March 16, 2016

    All travellers to and from Douglas Charles Airport must wear life jackets while Taxis must carry rubber dingys.

  26. cameron
    March 16, 2016

    Dominica is doomed ,Water washes away evil and corruption,people wake up the biblical days are upon or country,the mosquito borne dideases are an example,stop putting a man before god,Captain the ship is sinking.WAKE UP MY PEOPLE.

  27. jungle
    March 16, 2016

    It looks like fixing the fence and adding razor wire doesn’t work for flooding! Maybe get some REAL engineering expertise involved here!

  28. john paul
    March 16, 2016

    skerrit only talk about the international airport year before just win election,and after that changes his mind again.

    • March 16, 2016

      Who said and I quote that Dominica is not a real country, but the person knew that Dominica is not a country it’s an ISLAND . So how do you as a Dominican interpreted that statement. Come on , how serious do you believe those in Administration are concern about the people or the Island, they got everyone to believe the Airport was a sure thing and you all voted accordingly.. St. Vincent was the lucky one they have their airport what do we have.. Flooding and more flooding and there is more to come.
      We need help in Dominica for sure.

  29. peeping
    March 16, 2016

    You mean up to now Government has not made it their priority to dredge the Marigot River , divert it significantly and build a huge wall to avoid further damage. Did you see nervous emplyees male and female running for their lives crossing large bouts of water. Come on.

    • Interested
      March 16, 2016

      I have said the same thing. Our rivers need URGENT DREDGING. The river beds have risen tremendously as a result of silt coming down from heavy rains over the years. Secondly, as long as the Airport is there, the wall along the river needs to be raised. TS ERIKA was over 6 months ago. The authorities had sufficient time to do something to prevent the flooding again. Does it have to take someone losing their life for proper action to be taken.

    • Shay
      March 16, 2016

      You foolish?

      Let the river rise and cleanse the mind and vision of our government to begin the international airport. God is giving us dlp a last chance or else opinion polls will be the opposite in time to come

  30. john paul
    March 16, 2016

    i wish the airport can flood again,it’s about time to build an international airport.look st.vincent is laughing at us now.thanks to the advice of ralph gonsalves.

    • justice
      March 16, 2016

      `doh say that am about to go there in a weeks time after i come back it can

    • Prophet
      March 16, 2016

      Remember that St. Vincent is just like Dominica and their Airport is by a River as well. Lets see what happens? And they are not laughing at us.

  31. Tjebe Fort
    March 16, 2016

    Wear rubber boots and take a bottle of water and sandwiches, just in case.

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