Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Airport Development Company (IADC), Samuel Johnson has said that ongoing works continue on the International Airport for Dominica.
Johnson, who was a guest on Focus on Government and Development Program on DBS hosted by Dionne Durand-Smith last Thursday night said with the arrival of equipment on site they have started preparing key areas that would help support the development of the project.
“We’ve seen a few months ago the arrival of several pieces of equipment and several personnel from CR5 to the island and the intent there being, with an advanced team to really go through and get a feel for the site,” he said. “They were given a lot of the initial concept documents through the tender process, they would have seen some of the preliminary geo-tech work, they would have seen some of the site plans and some of the preliminary designs that would have been done by Landrum & Brown working in preparation for the project.”
Johnson explained that the batch plant area is being constructed and that really is intended to provide the production facilities for concrete asphalt.
“Concrete being a key requirement for all the civil works, the culverts, the tunnel, the apron of the airport, the retaining walls that have to be built,” Johnson stated. “So that area which is pretty visible [off] the road right now is going to house that facility with some offices as well for a production facility of that magnitude.”
He continued, “That 11-acre site was cleared and leveled in almost two weeks… We are moving equipment directly to the site.”
Furthermore, Johnson stated that “in addition to that they also came with part of their design team earlier in January to do a review of some of the drawings and met with key stakeholders.”
He went on to reveal that more equipment is expected on the island and working in close collaboration with the developer, “we also trying to ensure that we put in place a protocol in so far as ensuring that we engage as many locals as possible in the project.”
Meantime, in addition to that Johnson pointed out that an update was done to the master plan.
“The initial masterplan development started way back in 2016 thereabout, but a lot has changed, a lot has happened since then to 2021 when the work started,” he said.
He mentioned also that the update of the other master plan and the concept designs were all revisited during that period.
“And as you would have appreciated, since then and now we were hit by hurricane Maria, so the whole question of resiliency and that we could account or reflect the resilient agenda of the government,” he explained.
He added that the other update was done in 2020 during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
A one billion dollar contract between the Government of Dominica and Montreal Management Consultant Establishment (MMCE) was signed, signaling the official commencement of the construction of the highly anticipated international airport.
The contract signing which took place at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium on June 9, 2021, is a long-awaited dream held in the hearts of citizens for over 50 years.
At the time, the prime minister expressed gratitude to the people of Wesley, Woodford Hill, and Palm Tree who facilitated the construction of the airport in their communities and vowed to the citizens of Dominica, at home and abroad, that nothing and no one will stop his government from building the international airport.