ROSEAU: Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has announced that Dominica made significant progress on efforts to get financing for the construction of an international airport during a visit to China last month.
“Soon we will make public a document…which we have been able to sign, which speaks towards the international airport, which speaks towards the financing of the international airport, which speaks towards the management of the airport,” he said.
Skerrit said that the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) government had always indicated a desire for the island to build an international airport, but is not in a position domestically to fund its construction.
“We have always maintained that the Treasury of Dominica, the taxpayers of Dominica, the State of Dominica cannot afford to pay for an international airport by themselves and therefore you are going to require tremendous grant funding or an investor coming in and putting the bulk of the resources into an international airport,” he said.
Skerrit said that any political party informing supporters that it would be able to construct an international airport “does not have any serious plans or intentions of doing that.
“You cannot afford it and that’s why we are pursuing the options of looking at an investor coming in and the government also attracting some grant funding and where the government can put in its own resources, the government will look at that.”
Skerrit said that the government is contemplating building the airport on a site identified by a previous government which he said was “based on professional independent technical advice.
“It was not based on any political decision,” he said.
Dominica is among a number of Caribbean countries that say their future development plans have been hampered by the lack of an international airport to encourage direct flights from Europe and other international destinations.