Government is moving ahead with plans for a new airport terminal and is in discussions with its Chinese counterpart about financing and construction of what Chairman of Antigua & Barbuda Airport (ABAA) Authority Gatesworth James has described as a modern, state-of-the-art facility.
When asked how much the new building would cost, James said he could not say at this time but a check on the ABAA website revealed that under the master plan outlined for VC Bird International Airport, the cost of the first phase of the project involving the construction of “a three-level, 78,000 sq metre terminal would be $ 100 million.”
Yesterday James told The Daily OBSERVER that Antigua & Barbuda’s Non-Resident Ambassador to China David Shoul is spearheading the talks on behalf of the Baldwin Spencer administration.
He said, “When that is through we will be able to determine exactly when the turning of the sod will be.”
Asked if negotiations were close to completion, he quickly said, “I don’t know; these discussions are sometimes protracted, but it is nowhere near the two to three years that I recently read of in an international magazine for such discussions. But ours have been ongoing for a little while.”
The airport chairman said the new terminal would be located to the east of the airport, between the present one and the LIAT hangar.
“How much land it will sit on I cannot remember at this time. But the first draft has been done and gone through all the mills, in that all the stakeholders had an opportunity to see what it is as well as we got some input from international bodies. And now it has gone back to get a final draft,” James explained.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)