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Dr. Matthias – Airport will bring economic benefits to SVG

Dr. Matthias – Airport will bring economic benefits to SVG

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Construction of the international airport at Argyle is not based solely on the premise of profitability, but on long term economic benefits.{{more}}

Dr Rudy Matthias, Chief Executive Officer of the International Airport Development Company (IADC), said that many persons had the mistaken notion that the decision to construct an airport was based on profitability.

Matthias stated that many persons were opposed to the idea on the mistaken notion that constructing the airport will leave the country in too much debt.

“Perhaps if this was being done somewhere else, it could have happened,” he said, adding that he has the confidence and national pride that such a major capital project could be completed.

According to the IADC top official, the airport was being built and the main reason for doing so was to generate economic spin offs.

“We are not focusing narrowly on the profitability of the Argyle airport,” Dr Mathias said at an open forum put on by the People’s Movement for Change (PMC) on airport development Tuesday, April 27.

“I don’t know at what stage it (the airport) will turn around a profit, but I am sure that at one stage the bottom-line of the IADC will turn out positive,” he continued.

He expanded on the two policy decisions made by the current Unity Labour Party government, that of constructing an international airport and the other to convert Arnos Vale into a commercial centre.

According to Dr Matthias, National Properties Ltd., the unit charged with the Arnos Vale project has already contracted a top architectural firm to conceptualize the plan for this project.

He contended that once the master plan for the development of the 63 acres at Arnos Vale was completed, real estate prices in that areas will match those of Kingstown which currently range between $450 and $600 per square foot, or even surpass that amount.

Even if we lose 15 per cent of the land due to roads and drains, we still have lands valued at EC$1.15 billion using $500 as the base price, Dr Matthias explained.

“If we were able to pre-sell Arnos Vale, we just may have been able to build Argyle without borrowing,” he contended.

“The financial difficulties are temporary ones as in another 3 to 4 years, we are going to have assets on our hands.” (DD)

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