Dominica Earmarks 441 Acres of Land for the Construction of New International Airport
The government of the Commonwealth of Dominica has recently announced the acquisition of just over 400 acres of land for the construction of its first-ever international airport.
Following intensive but affable negotiations with landowners, the government has identified and approved the 213 properties (47 of which are farmlands), that it needs to acquire in order to build the island’s first and much-awaited, international airport. Over 150 acres of the allocated land in the west area will be traded with farmers who are giving up their land for the international airport, in exchange for either financial compensation, new land or a newly constructed residence. The government has already begun to affect payments to the various property owners and farmers, with geotechnical surveys having commenced in September.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says the project is being developed by a company established primarily for the build. “The International Airport Development Company will have a shelf life for the duration of the construction of the airport,” says Skerrit. “It will have a board comprising of 16 members that would cover a wide section of the society so that we have broad-based participation and involvement in the process,” says the PM.
When the project was announced in August 2020, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said: “We have placed the international airport as priority number one for the government. I am redirecting a lot of state resources in terms of human resources, engineers and surveyors, to the project.”
Furthermore, the project will be wholly financed by the island’s very own funds. The Dominica government has been saving an impressive US$5 million every month over the past few years from the funds accrued from the islands’ Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, specifically for the construction of the new airport.
Dominica’s CBI Programme has been vital in subsidising a range of development projects on the island across a variety of sectors including housing to education. Dominica has one of the fastest-growing economies in the Caribbean region, thanks to the country’s highly respected CBI Programme which allows well-vetted investors and their families to contribute to a government fund or pre-approved real estate on the island in exchange for citizenship. Much of the Programmes’ outstanding reputation is owed to its strict due diligence process and the intense vetting of potential investors, which ensures that only reputable and credible applicants are accepted.
Dominica reopened its borders to international travel on 7 August 2020 and has been relatively unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic currently sweeping the world. This new gateway will be a game-changer for Dominica, which presently only has two regional airports, resulting in all international visitors to the island having to travel via Puerto Rico or the Caribbean islands of Barbados, Antigua, Guadeloupe or Martinique.