Dominica has spent an estimated EC$40 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) for preparing the land needed to build the island’s international airport.
At a recent meeting with the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced that EC$40 million was used to acquire 500 acres of land and compensate over 260 property owners affected by the project.
Skerrit shared that the completion of the airport is expected by the end of 2026, a year later than the initial announcement of 2025.
“We felt if we built an airport between 2022-26, it should be an airport for the future, and this is why we have gone the route of this expansive consideration for the airport,” he said.
The airport will have a runway length of 2,850 meters that “can handle wide-bodied aircraft like the…Airbus A350 on direct routes to North America, Europe, and key cities in Asia.”
The billion-dollar airport project is largely funded by the Citizenship by Investment Program (CBI), where individuals are bestowed with second citizenship in exchange for their investment in Dominica.
The airport’s site is between Woodford Hill and Wesley villages on the island’s northeast coast. Several residents had to be relocated for the project.
Skerrit said the affected residents were given “highly desirable relocation sites, fertile lands for agriculture, and improved views in all directions for housing.”
“Agricultural squatters are being regularized in relocated areas which will give them greater security and encourage expansion of their farms, thereby facilitating higher production yields,” he said, adding that the relocation has even “created a significant uptick in the local construction industry by creating demands for skilled and unskilled labour, equipment, and materials.”
Last year, the government of Dominica signed an agreement with the UAE-based firm MMC Development Ltd. to officially break ground on the highly-anticipated international airport.
“The Dominica International Airport Project is the biggest contracted project not only in the history of Dominica but also in the history of the Eastern Caribbean region,” MMC Development Ltd. CEO Anthony Haiden said in his speech during the June 2021 ground-breaking ceremony. “[And] MMCE is privileged to contribute to this history-making initiative as we embark on a legendary project.”
Updates about the airport by MMC Development Ltd. are posted on their website.
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