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Sunday 19 August 2018
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Tobago

Residents await Govt plan on airport terminal

Residents of Crown Point and environs whose have been told their land/properties are to be compulsorily acquired for construction a new terminal building for the ANR Robinson International Airport Terminal are still awaiting word from the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) on this process.

At a May 14 a public consultation hosted by THA officials as well as officials of the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT, residents were told Government would be acquiring 84 acres of land for the new terminal building, and that construction will start in December. Some 120 land/property owners are to be affected by the acquisition process. The parcel of land earmarked for the development spans the area south of the Store Bay Local Road between Gaskin Bay Road on the east and Store Bay Feeder Road on the west.

Last Thursday, one resident whose property lies in the acquisition zone, Wolwyn Lovell, said that he has heard nothing since the May 14 announcement.

“I have not heard anything… the last time we met with Mr (Hilton) Sandy and Mr (Alvin) Pascall, they said that the Assembly would come back to us in three weeks’ time. To date we have not heard from them,” said Lovell.

Another resident, Rhonda Hackett, who is chairing a committee made up of affected residents, said that they have met several times since the first May 14 public consultation “but we are not hearing anything from the THA at this time.”

Called for comment, THA Chief Administrator, Raye Sandy said that a team has been put together, but were yet to start meeting with the residents.

“The THA and the central government have put together a team that was supposed to hit the ground running and start meeting with people but for some reason, it didn’t work as well as we expected it to. We did promise the residents that within two weeks of the first meeting we would have been meeting with them, but we have not been on the ground just yet, the team is still working on a couple matters,” Sandy said.

On June 9, AATT Deputy Chairman Lyle Alexander, asked about the plan for the new terminal and when it would be made public, told Newsday Tobago it would be revealed in ‘due course.’

“Revealed to the public… no. That has not yet been done but there is a plan that will be revealed in due course. The draft plan takes into consideration the acquisition of the properties around that is necessary, but the final plan will be revealed in due course,” he said.

Alexander said then that the first phase of the project, which is the acquisition of the lands, was ongoing and the other steps will be identified upon completion of this.

“There is a committee comprising the THA (Tobago House of Assembly) and the Airports Authority that is liaising to make this project happen. At the moment, the legal process is being followed to get the necessary land acquisition… basically that is the process that is ongoing at the moment. At the end of that, the other announcements for the next steps will be detailed,” Alexander said.

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