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Chamber members take tour of Argyle international airport

Chamber members take tour of Argyle international airport


President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SVGCIC) Christine DaSilva says that although the Argyle international airport is not yet finished, business persons should get ready for when it is completed.{{more}}

“We (Chamber Members/business people) accept that it is an ongoing project and we need to get ready. We don’t know when it will be completed, but we cannot wait for planes to start landing before we are ready to do business; we need to be ready,” said DaSilva on Wednesday, during a visit to the Argyle international airport site.

DaSilva and a number of SVGCIC members went on an official tour of the site on Wednesday. The tour was conducted by chief executive officer of the International Airport Development Company (IADC) Dr Rudy Matthias and the IADC’s communications officer Jennifer Richardson.

During the tour, which began at the construction site of the airport’s control tower, DaSilva said that she is very impressed by what she has seen.

A member of the tour party enquired about the availability of shops inside the terminal building when the airport is fully functional and Matthias said that the process of choosing shop operators would be put out to tender.

DaSilva said that this aspect of the airport is of great interest to the SVGCIC and when the IADC decides on which shops they want, “we would like to know about it.”

She said that the SVGCIC is very much interested in having an input in this aspect of the development, as it can have positive impacts both for the Chamber and its members.

She said that apart from the possibility of members getting shops inside the terminal building, the fact that the airport would bring tourists to the country is also a plus.

“We would also like to meet with the Tourism Authority because they have the job of attracting people here and that is an area where we need to see their strategy to see how we can get involved,” said DaSilva.

Also on the tour was executive director of the Chamber Tony Regisford, who described the visit as a familiarization visit, “to hear from the horse’s mouth instead of hearsay… to get direct answers to questions we have.”

He said that the Chamber decided that it would be a good idea to invite its members to have a firsthand view of the airport development during an official tour.

“This is where the people who know what exactly is going on are able to assure us about the way things are going and where we can ask questions and have members gain intimate knowledge of the airport and its construction and also get a feel of its readiness what the challenges are, what is completed and what is to be done,” said Regisford.

He, like DaSilva, also addressed the possibility of Chamber members operating businesses inside the terminal building.

“Inside the terminal building there will be shops and that’s our business. There are possibilities for the private sector,” said Regisford, who added that there will also be other facilities outside of the terminal building that may require private operation, “and certainly the Chamber itself has to generate revenue, so we have an open mind.”

Regisford said that he was thankful to Matthias and Richardson for taking them on the tour.

The tour took persons from the prefabricated control tower, to the area where the river is being spanned, to the terminal building, while persons also viewed the runway.