UWP against leasing Hewanorra International Airport for 30 years

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UWP against leasing Hewanorra International Airport for 30 years
Guy Joseph holding up a copy of the Hewanorra International Airport Redevelopment Project which was put together by the previous administration.
Guy Joseph holding up a copy of the Hewanorra International Airport Redevelopment Project which was put together by the previous UWP administration.

The United Workers Party (UWP) has declared that it will not support the Hewanorra International Airport (HIA) Redevelopment Project which seeks to lease out the airport for some thirty years.

UWP frontman Guy Joseph said that his party has requested that an exit clause be included in the contractual arrangements for the project, which will allow them to pull out from the current arrangement being discussed, if they assume office.

Joseph described the project as the “worst conceived” by any government of the region, while emphasizing that there are no direct benefits to be derived from this arrangement.

The former Works and Communication Minister maintain that the St. Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) are more than capable to operate the airport effectively.

“When you bring in a developer to develop our airport and to give them a lease of the airport for thirty years, you give them not just the $35 head tax that we were looking at but you also give them the present twenty-five dollar US tax that goes to SLASPA,” he explained.

According to him, the developer may end up getting as much as $60 per passenger who lands in St. Lucia to build an airport that is cheaper than the airport the UWP had intentions of constructing.

Joseph noted that the UWP’s plan for the HIA would have seen close to 900 people being employed. This he said is something that was taken away from the people of Vieux Fort.

“You didn’t like the contractor… then get rid of the contractor. Bring in a new contractor but go with the model and build the airport. You wanted to review the price? UWP didn’t have a problem with that. But to stall the project and make it look like now you want to do something…”

Back in June, SLASPA announced that it was working with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to assist with the project and plans to pursue a Public Private Partnership (PPP).

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24 COMMENTS

  1. We need to face it. The deal proposed by the US was far better and was in the interest of St Lucians. The airport was actually paying back it's debt. Remember that monies have already been collected. As it relates to the new proposal the company would be making the money and not st Lucians. This is another situation where labour has to accept UWP had it right. Just like they had it right when they said that NICE jobs are politically appointed jobs. I deliberately called in and was told that my District Rep has to recommend me. Do Guy and Gayle recommend people too? Nonsense. SLP = victimization

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  2. i'm really trying to understand us St-lucians. While we are complaining that the government is borrowing to much money,we want them to borrow another $500 million instead of leasing the airport.confused people.......we don't know what we want

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  3. I am no fun of Guy Joseph. However, it does not take formal education to see that this government is ready and willing to sell our beautiful island to the highest bidder . You see this man is already set for life. So to hell with out children who are coming. What exactly will we have to hand over to them????

    Book knowledge does not exactly make you bright!!!!! It's a combination of our experiences, with the ability to learn from these experiences. Therefore, an intelligent person should be able to apply their book knowledge (if any), together with the experiences of others and their own experiences sprinkled with a hint of common sense where necessary in order to achieve positive outcomes when dealing with simple and complex situations.
    At this point clearly this government does not possess the ability to transfer knowledge or have an ounce of analytical skills. There is little or no evidence of vision for this country. And the sad thing is the opposition looks just as empty . What do we do people? How do we save our country from these people?

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  4. St Lucia is in a debt hole too deep to get out of in the short term, without external assistance. This may not be the best way, but one way to cut cost and still earn from it. The same ones crying foul would be the same ones to march if government decides to cut on expenditure by reducing the size of government. By the way, the latter is my recommendation.

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  5. All the brains and PhDs we have in government cannot devise a manner for this airport to pay for itself? This is a national treasure in the sense that it is a major moneymaker for anyone who has it. Is Kenny and Co agreeing that they do not have the wherewithal to properly manage this facility? The biggest honeymoon destination in the world and one of the biggest in the islands cannot handle little ole Hewanorra with the help of SLASPS, what does that say about our people? Too much bobol so you outsource it and only a select few get kickbacks under the table?

    Every major revenue earner is gonna be owned or controlled by foreigners? Kenny guaranteeing for everybody with our money but he cannot get anyone to guarantee for us, how dumb and lame is that? Grynberg would have controlled our seabed and any oil found there, Rochamel Kenny put us in the hole, Pitons development area, beaches, Passports, National Bank, every damn thing of value that loser giving away! What's next, is he gonna sink money we don't have into LIAT? Ooops, he already did give them a loan guarantee of $3Million.

    How that man is minister of finance is remarkably astounding.

    (27)(1)

    • Lets do some analytical thinking here, a standard mortgage take about 25 to 30 years to pay off depending on how much you take out, and I am talking about under a million dollars. If this government seeks to go further in the hole for $500 million how many years do you estimate it would take us to repay that loan. Furthermore given that the economy is already seriously wounded would you cover its nostrils by putting us further in debt just to offset a few jobs in the guise of redevelopment. GUY should go school or seek some formal education because there is no way he can convince any intelligent individual that his idea and better than the present. Modern business practices and ideas are foreign to him poor jab, ventures of this nature leaves him perplexed because he cannot benefit directly from it.

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      • As we can see having a formal education does not mean that we are bright or have the analytical skills needed to run this country. I know of many educated fools and you sure sound like one. In a number of cases education is about opportunity. There are many intelligent people out there without the Masters and PHD qualifications who are more intelligent and forward thinking people that the some of the so called educated people around. So do not be foolish.

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    • Cornbread

      A plan was devised by the UWP administration bk in 2006 or so where the airport development tax was being collected from travellers! Millions of dollars had been collected already however the slp admin threw it out when they came into power .. That was a brilliant plan ! But stlucians were made to believe is all stlucian's tax payers money paying for the Airport! To date can you imagine the amount of money that would have been collected? Smh

      I guess the fact that it didnt come from someone with a PhD it's no good .

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  6. The former works minister knows very well that there is nuttin that he can get on a side... SO HE ENRAGER..FROM A MINI BUS DRIVER TO A MILLIONAIRE IN 5 YRS ...Is't that enuff???

    (24)(32)

    • Amen!

      We are the only ones who will put such underachievers in office.
      All of a sudden his is an Economist, Business and Financial Analyst and a jackass intellect in all forms in Engineering.
      smh.

      (4)(18)

    • You see why they call you all hacks? Focus on the facts that are being discussed and not the person bringing those facts to light..... this isnt a good deal for anyone other than the company who will effectively own the airport for a generation and a half

      (23)(0)

  7. lease Hewanorra International Airport that is a --- biggest joke I have ever heard in my life. That means the new owner could put any charges/ changes or payment to enter st.lucia. st.lucia has one international air port and tourism is the only source of income by doing this it could threaten the economy people lives. If it fails, people will die for 30 years loool ** government jokers maybe that is their intention. I live in England and my home land is st.lucia by do this it could be very costly, discouraging knowingly that it’s owned by a country ownership that I don’t like, very poor promoting, and devaluating st.lucia, difficulties to enter st.lucia. Tourism is the only source of income in which they a promoting but wants to threaten..Jokes... I do understand what the government is trying to do but this is a very very sensitive and risky dealing Mr. Government you ARE GAMBLING on all of st.lucian people lives. And so if this fail YOU DESERVE TO BE HANG. Make you decision right Mr.gov

    (21)(1)

  8. both parties fighting for this airport but where is the transparency in any of the transactions? Why don't they publicize the legislation for us to read what is there. Both parties sat in the house when the Hewanorra Act and the PPP Act was passed and I did not hear any complaints or any one walking off. Stop wasting our time red, yellow and green party. And as a people we fight amongst ourselves while politicians laugh and stuff their selves.

    (12)(4)

  9. I dont think anyone with a brain will lease or put any money into this airport unless they make a profit. I dont think any business man in the world likes st.lucia that much.

    Why cant we fix our own airport and do it at a reasonable rate with out cost overeuns and other political entanglement. Without the same bridge prices.

    This way we can control our head and landing fees. Maybe even remove them to stimulate the economy.

    Do u realise the cost of arriving in stlucia is at the mercy of a business man. Yikes

    Why not lease banans bay to a crusie ship operator instead. Why not sell the old fire station or the lovely mall in boise orange. Or rent out that lovely building next to the fisheries. Or lease out glf charles airport. I am sorry not our airport anything else

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  10. Sweet sweet Ste Lucie for sale, mi bredecks...
    Just stick a fork in it already. Add the "For Sale" sign right over our little isle on Google Map and call it a day.

    (20)(0)

  11. Since this is an infrastructural project, the most credible source of financing with proper oversight comes from the World Bank. If the WB does not want to touch the project with a barge pole or a 10-foot pole, there is some something wrong.

    This SLP regime does have a history of financial undertakings that almost always results in not just cost-overruns, but pure financial giveaways. It is like taking candy from a baby. Frenwell, Black Bay, and Grynberg. There seems to be just no one within the SLP with any business acumen willing and able to do the CRITICALLY NECESSARY "DUE DILIGENCE" associated with financial arrangements involving millions and millions of dollars.

    Besides, there is no cogent evidence that the airport's operations represent a bottleneck in the dispersion of passengers to their hotel destinations. The more urgent problem and that which may be more irksome for those going north is the travel time from Vieux Fort to Gros Islet.

    The clause mentioned above may never be included. If not then what?

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  12. The way I see things going on in St. Lucia. I will be dead by the time the 35 year lease expires, no better days

    (13)(0)

  13. That airport is a sight for sore eyes. In my books it is an embarrassment for an island to be touted as a leading honeymoon destination and that this is the first thing tourist see after they disembark.

    (15)(1)

    • I do agree!
      The Government of this Nation has NO pride and NO leadership skills to get things done in a timely fashion.

      UVF, is a National and International Embarrassment.

      (10)(0)

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