A new Tobago airport including terminal, runway and car park will be built for $500 million, starting before year-end, Finance Minister Colm Imbert told the House of Representatives yesterday.
The sum excludes the cost of land acquisition, he added, replying to the query from Pointe-a-Pierre MP David Lee.
Imbert, in reply to a separate question by Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal, said US$560,000 (about TT$3.9 million) will be spent on the Tobago airbridge until the end of April to wet-lease aircraft from LIAT. In another question by Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh asked how many extra flights were run by Caribbean Airlines to accommodate citizens displaced by the collapse of the ferry service. Imbert replied, “Caribbean Airlines was able to handle all ferry passengers within its existing capacity.”
Deputy Speaker Esmond Forde disallowed two supplemental queries on the ferry service by Indarsingh and Moonilal respectively. Lee charged that Imbert had not properly replied to his original question, but Imbert reiterated that CAL had handled the ferry passengers with its existing aircraft, alluding to no extra flights. Imbert later responded to a question from Moonilal on the cost to bring the ferry, Galleons Passage, from China to TT and the nationalities of its crew for that trip. He said the trip cost was US$811,000, while its nine-man crew were all Lithuanian (including its captain) but for one officer who was Latvia.
He said up to Tuesday night, the ship was 2,000 miles from Hawaii, travelling at 11 knots through the Pacific Ocean.