ROSEAU, Dominica, January 31, 2020 (CMC) – The Dominica government says it will begin making payments to persons, whose lands have been acquired for the construction of an international airport, on the island’s north-east coast.
“We have started negotiations with land-owners and property-owners, and in the next few weeks, we will start payments to some of these land-owners, who have concluded negotiations with the government’s negotiating team,” Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, said.
“I am hoping that, in the next few months, we will conclude on the acquisitions of the lands,” he said, adding “thus far, there has been absolutely no resistance on the part of property-owners, and so we are looking forward to making the first payments, about four million dollars, negotiated so far….”
Last November, Skerrit told the nation that “with the solid support of the People’s Republic of China, Dominica will have its international airport, and work will begin in earnest in 2020, the year of our Lord”.
He also indicated, last year, that his administration had received firm proposals from a number of countries, including India, for the construction of the airport that is expected to be situated on lands, between the Woodford Hill and Wesley villages.
The government has also announced that an international airport development committee will be appointed, early next month, “because the whole idea of the government, is not for the government to be hogging this project by itself, and for itself, but to utilise the expertise available to it”.
Skerrit said the nominations for members of the committee will be discussed at the Cabinet meeting, on Tuesday, adding “we believe that with the presence of an international airport, it will certainly complement the thrust in tourism, the thrust in agriculture”.
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.