Castries, Saint Lucia, Monday November 22, 2021:– The previous administration’s decision to incorporate the Desert Star Holdings (DSH) racetrack and its rushed plans for new seaport development in Vieux Fort helped widen the scope and increase the cost of the latest controversial Hewanorra International Airport (HIA) Redevelopment Project.
That’s one of the findings of a special committee established to review the status of the project and make recommendations to the new administration.
The committee has submitted an initial report, in which it indicated the original site for the new terminal was north of the existing terminal.
However, the committee finds that “the existing project site is further north-west and appears to be premised on the integration of the Desert Star Holdings (DSH) racetrack and new seaport development.”
Consequently, the new terminal, if constructed as planned by the previous Allen Chastanet administration, will be accessible from the La Ressource Road.
But that would require a new road to be constructed, which is outside the scope of the contract with the OECC (the Taiwanese firm contracted for the project).
The relocation of the entry to the proposed new terminal building to accommodate DSH and the last administration’s pre-election plans for the new tourism port development will cost millions — if undertaken — and thereby extend the cost of the project.
Already nine months behind schedule and deep into cost-overruns, the HIA project is already ten years old — and has spanned three administrations in one decade.
The current administration is weighing its options regarding how best to continue and complete the controversial project during its current term.