Government denies plans to privatise Hewanorra Airport

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Government denies plans to privatise Hewanorra Airport
Photo credit: www.panoramio.com.
Photo credit: www.panoramio.com.

Minister responsible for Port Services Phillip J. Pierre has denied reports of plans to privatize the Hewanorra International Airport.

Pierre has said that government is looking at entering into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) aimed at keeping the cost to the Saint Lucian taxpayer down.

However, Saint Lucia News Online (SNO) published a report on Monday, which was carried by Airport World that revealed that there were discussions surrounding the privatization of the airport during a summit in Athens.

Airport World has said that the Government of St Lucia and operator the St Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) are looking for a private investor, to operate and develop the gateway, which handled 690,000 passengers in 2013.

“Up for grabs is a 30 year concession for an investor prepared to invest $118 million on new terminal and other key infrastructure and a further $90 million on the maintenance and repair of its existing facilities. In an ideal world, the RFP will be put out to tender next year and the airport will get the new terminal by 2018,” it said.

SLAPSA’s General Manager Keigan Cox also told Airport World: “We are looking for private sector knowledge and know-how as well as financial investment. We believe the time is right to develop the airport to facilitate passenger growth and tourism development.”

However, SLASPA has told the local media that any deal would be a PPP transaction and will not involve the privatization or sale of the airport.

The Caribbean gateway is predicted to reach 1.6mppa by 2044 with the bulk of international passengers coming from the US, Canada, UK and France, Airport World reported.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Vigie airport was up for grabs already, an "investor" came and said to the government that the property that the airport was on was prime real estate. The flow of the traffic will cause accidents on both the airport and on the roads nest to the airport. So they should move it to Vieux Fort. That was all over the news talking about shifting Vigie airport to Vieux Fort but never said why. Now you know. Since they never got what the wanted, the entire operation just died, like so many others in this "fair Helen of the people"

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  2. Kenny knows how to do two things, create debt and sell the island off for peanuts. Kenny is worse than Ebola.

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  3. It was in the talk but it's not the only option , we too fast to discuss what happens in private meetings .... if they have seen what it has done to other countries , privatization is the last option but something has by to be done the country CANNOT operate two national airports

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  4. Why is it there were two meeting with operators at the airport a couple months ago to discuss the privatization of the airport. phillip j pierre stop the lies man.

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  5. if i'm not mistaking i belisve privatizing of the airport was never confirm, yes they spoke about it but was never confirm that it was the plan .

    please stop calling people liars.
    and read the news carefully .
    don't listen to who say READ THE NEWS BEFORE CALLING PEOPLE LIARS

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  6. YOU GUYS ARE CONFUSED OR WHAT KENNY SAID HE WAS PRIVATISING THE AIRPORT NOW KEGAN MADE IT PUBLIC AND NOW AS YOU GETTING BIMS YOU DENY.BS.

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  7. After the costly mistake in the signing to sell off our ocean bed, now Hewanorra is on the block for sale?
    Is the next move Vigie airport, Rat Island, Maria Island or what? may I suggest the Prison with all its inmates, to the lowest bidder, sure bet a money saver.

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  8. To the uninitiated, you should look closely at PPP deals. They are not what they seem.

    In the UK huge amounts of debt have been run up trying to finance hospitals etc. Basically return for the provider building and maintaining the facility you are locked into the repayments for the 30 year period. However the costs in the long run far outweigh the costs. There are also lots of clauses ensuring the "maintenance" costs are inflated higher.

    Be careful...

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