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Matthias: SVG to get best possible airport

Matthias: SVG to get best possible airport

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Following a recent announcement that the International Airport Development Company (IADC) intends to purchase an additional 30 acres of land, Chief Executive Officer of the IADC Dr. Rudolph Matthias has reassured the public that this venture will not incur any additional cost nor delay the projected completion date of the Argyle International Airport.{{more}}

With an overall estimated cost of EC$589 million, Matthias related that $50 million was earmarked to cover contingencies such as the purchase of extra land. Simply put, the total cost had been figured to include unforeseen variations in designs and rising costs during construction.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, April 7th, Matthias rationalized the importance of this additional purchase and affirmed that the airport development plans are going according to plan.

Using the E.T Joshua Airport as an example, he pointed out that the site has no land space available for expansion. Should another airline want to set up base there, it wouldn’t be possible because there is no room for an additional hangar to house the aircraft. Matthias also mentioned the problem of occasional congestion on the tarmac, as well as with passengers in the terminal.

“Think of this as a long term development plan… we will buy an additional 30 acres of land so that the Terminal Building and other land site facilities can be built in such a way as to allow for orderly and structural growth over time…” Matthias explained.

Highlighting the prudence of buying the land now as opposed to after the completion of the airport, Matthias related that land would be much more expensive to purchase then. Essentially, securing land now ensures that future governments can expand the airport, if needs be, at minimal costs. “We are already buying a lot of land, and one cannot make an issue… as if to say 30 acres is going to consume the rest of Argyle!” he exclaimed. “We are working fervently to ensure that we give St. Vincent and the Grenadines the best possible airport project that we can…”

Regarding earthworks, Matthias assured the public that the IADC is making “extremely good progress”. Due to the negative effects of heavy and prolonged rains in the latter half of 2008, the working hours have been extended to 12 hours daily, 7 days per week. This regimen will be maintained until additional equipment is acquired, which can move larger volumes of earth.

Matthias also took the opportunity to introduce a visiting team from the CECI Engineering Consultants Inc., representing the interests of the Taiwanese government which pledged a total sum of US$30 million, in a memorandum of understanding signed June 7, 2006, for the construction of the Terminal Building, Control Tower, and Roads and Support systems component of the airport project.

The team comprises of Team Leader/Principal Engineer Ning-Chau Chiu, and Project Engineers Eric Dingler and Chien-Chih Lin. Michael Lin, Consular from the Taiwanese Embassy, accompanied them. (JSV)

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