The Barbados-based CARICOM Development Fund is pleased with the pace and quality of work on the new EC$240 million Argyle International Airport in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Chief Executive Officer, Lorne McDonnough, accompanied by his Director of Regional Development, Lennox Forte, gave the project thumbs up during a recent visit to the 175-acre site, following approval by CDF’s board of a second loan of EC$8.8 million to International Airport Development Company, the wholly government-owned limited liability company responsible for the development. The initial input was EC$11.2 million in loan and grants in May 2011.
Work on the Argyle airport began in 2008 and is set for completion by September 2013. It will feature a 9,000 foot long runway capable of accommodating commercial jets as large as Boeing 747s and 400s and a 145,000 square foot terminal building. This will comprise three main floor areas — an 85,000 square foot ground floor, a 40,000 square foot first floor and a 10,000 square foot mezzanine level. A fourth-floor semi-covered roof patio will be used for future expansion of the departure area if traffic demands.
The building, which is also designed to accommodate air bridges, will be about six times the size of that of the country’s existing ET Joshua Airport at Arnos Vale and will actually be two separate terminals under one roof. One will be for processing international and regional flights and the other for domestic flights to and from four other small airports in the Grenadines.
The CDF officials also inspected the stone crushing plant, quarry and base laying equipment which includes five dump trucks, a paver, two rock trucks, two front end loaders and a rock hammer procured by IADC with the first loan and grants. The additional loan will be used to buy equipment for the paving works and laboratory testing.
McDonnough said afterward: “I do not think many people in the Caribbean truly understand the magnitude of what is being accomplished here. I am really impressed with the progress that has been made. It’s truly impressive and I am very happy that CDF has been able to assist this massive undertaking in our own very small way.”
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