Construction is underway for the new Hewanorra International Airport in Vieux Fort. The US $175 million project encompasses upgrades to the airfield with an expanded parking apron, brand new air traffic control tower, a two-storey terminal building measuring more than 337,000 sq. ft. and an extensive car park and road network system.
In a press statement issued June 3rd, Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) acting General Manager, Daren Cenac expressed his elation with the commencement of this project. “This potentially is a once in a generation project and today marks the start to an exciting new journey for SLASPA and Saint Lucia. It’s been spoken about for nearly one decade, and now it’s finally happening. Hewanorra International Airport is ready for take-off,” the General Manager remarked.
Meanwhile, there will be a sitting in the House of Assembly on Tuesday June 11th for consideration of the motion that Parliament authorizes the Minister for Finance to guarantee a loan in the amount of EC$202,500,000.00 from the Bank of Saint Lucia Limited by the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Port Authority for the purpose of financing the Hewanorra International Airport Redevelopment Project.
Approval for preparing of the site was given last May by the Development Control Authority (DCA). Preparation for construction is expected to be complete within three months. The enthusiastic Cenac continued, “The Hewanorra International Airport Redevelopment Project is one of the largest infrastructural projects undertaken by SLASPA and the Government of Saint Lucia. With 36 years of competently managing our ports, we have the nation’s business in order and will deliver a facility that is simply world class and efficient to give Saint Lucians another reason to be proud of our nation. This project both in its construction phase and upon completion will significantly fuel the local economy. Our projections through dialogue with aviation partners suggest encouraging business for HIA and the tourism industry. North American carriers committing to increasing airlift to the island, is a major vote of confidence and reflects the strong growth forecasts for the aviation market.”
The Taiwan based construction company, Oversees Engineering and Construction Company (OECC), anticipates that a workforce of approximately fifty people will carry out the initial earthworks. Close to 700 jobs are expected to be created over the course of the airport construction project, with at least 70 percent expected to be held by Saint Lucians. Hewanorra International Airport is due for completion towards the end of 2021 and according to SLASPA, “It will be a full-service airport with international, domestic and regional flights; an augmented cargo facility, opening limitless possibilities for trade and commerce.”