The Dominica government says plans are going ahead for the construction of an international airport and that a national company is being formed that will play a pivotal role in the development of the project.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, speaking on his weekly television programme on Sunday night, said that his administration is also in the process of paying funds to persons whose lands had been acquired on the island’s north-east coast for the project.
Skerrit that the government has concluded the acquisition of 411 acres of land in the Wesley area.
“We have paid for compensation to farmers, we are finalising the designs, there will be some changes to the homes we are building for those who have opted to accept a home in exchange for their homes, we have a 150 acres of agricultural land that we have surveyed and next week we will be assigning those lands to farmers who exchanged land for land.
“We have started making payments to people who have decided to accept cash, we are doing the designs of the airport and very soon we will continue with technical studies,” Skerrit told his viewers adding that his administration is proposing the establishment of the national company to be involved in the construction of the airport.
“The International Airport Development Company will have a shelf life for the duration of the construction of the airport, it will have a board comprising of 16 members that would cover a wide section of the society so that we have broad-based participation and involvement in the process”.
Skerrit said the government is headhunting for the chief executive officer of the company and he is hoping to be in a position to make an announcement by the start of the next month.
In addition, he said there will be a policy board made up of Cabinet ministers and chaired by him.
In 2013, Prime Minister Skerrit announced that he had signed a US$300 million deal with Chinese company, ASCG, with “reconstruction of an international airport” among projects to be undertaken, under the agreement.