The United Workers Party (UWP) is firmly committed to the construction of the international airport, and is fully confident of the its ability to deliver on the promise of an International Airport.
This is according to UWP hopeful for Castle Bruce, Isaac Baptiste.
“We The United Workers Party Team Dominica reassure you the Dominican public here and abroad, and our international investment partners, that a major pillar of the UWP Team Dominica Government’s plans to grow the Economy by 5-7%, and create 5000 new sustainable jobs in the first three years, will be the development of comprehensive, competitive, modernized, sea and air access to Dominica, to include… Construction of the international airport project develop by the United Workers Party since 2000 … Facilitating establishment of a Dominica based airline …and … establishment and expansion of high speed ferry services to Dominica,” he said at a press conference earlier this week.
Baptiste went on to outline the work done by the UWP in its short four and a half years, towards the construction of the international airport, saying that, unlike the DLP’s hesitant approach, the UWP Government had long ago developed advanced and comprehensive plans for an international airport.
The party’s government had prepared detailed designs for construction of the facility. A feasibility study had been done and 448 acres of land had been purchased from 161 land owners between Wesley and Woodford Hill for runway and airside facilities construction.
Further, the UWP Government had bought, by private treaty, the Londonderry Estate for hotel development and relocation of farmers who would have been displaced by the project.
He said by the time the UWP Government left office, it had successfully negotiated and left behind over $110-million in grants and soft loans from the EU and Taiwan for construction of an international airport.
Additionally, reputable international financiers and developers such as the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Geest Industries and Four Seasons Hotel had given firm commitments to construct high end hotels and related tourism development projects to coincide with commissioning of an international airport. Plans were developed for the construction of the Jungle Bay Hotel, Rosalie Bay Hotel and the Woodford Hill Beach Hotel as well as the Cabrits Resort.
He noted that the Douglas family — the owners of the approximately 1,000-acre Hampstead Estate — were pursuing the development of the estate into a tourism resort, dependent on the international airport.
Baptiste also chided prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit for ignoring and disrespecting the supporters of Rosie Douglas and Pierre Charles and referred to Skerrit’s move to rename the airport in the hope of wooing back supporters of Rosie Douglas and Pierre Charles whom he has alienated since taking office.
“At best, [it] seems to be the desperate action of a drowning Prime Minister grasping at straws, at worst the actions of a political traitor,” Baptiste opined.
He urged citizens to consider Skerrit’s renaming exercise as nothing more than an empty political gimmick, and to dismiss any further promise him to build international airport with the contempt that it deserves.