Rowley: Covid19 won't delay Tobago airport expansion

Passengers disembark Sunwing Airlines' inaugural Toronto to Tobago flight at the ANR Robinson International airport in December 2018. -
Passengers disembark Sunwing Airlines' inaugural Toronto to Tobago flight at the ANR Robinson International airport in December 2018. -

The $1.2 billion airport expansion project is going full speed ahead, according to the Prime Minister.

Dr Rowley made the statement during an interview on Tobago Channel 5 on Tuesday. Rowley noted that funding is in place and covid19 has not hindered the project.

“It is on the front burner. Everything is in place for that, the work is going on apace,” he said.

Rowley said the THA has put things in place to assist residents who would have to relocate to make room for the project.

In June 2019, THA officials informed the affected residents they would be offered land at subsidised prices to build their new homes. Head of the THA Airport Relocation Committee Allan Richards told residents that land had been allocated at Shirvan, Cove and Courland.

Rowley said, “I am told that the sites for the relocation, the infrastructure, there are two sites – one at Cove and one at Shirvan – that the THA is doing to relocate the people that have to be relocated.

“The THA is making it very comfortable for the people to be relocated from the land that is required for the terminal building. Nobody would be disadvantaged there, that’s as much as I can say. Nobody would be taken advantage of... in fact, they will be facilitated. The area where they would be going is prime real estate. They’re giving up their real estate at the edge of the airport and in fact they would be paid for the claims they have there that are justifiable and legal.”

Rowley added, “The actual contract to be awarded is very close by. The funding is in place – the Latin American Bank, the funding is in place. So, we have a project and covid(19) or no covid(19), Tobago’s infrastructure, airport terminal building will be built to give Tobago the kind of future Tobago deserves.”

On May 4, National Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (Nidco) chairman Herbert George told Newsday that work on the $1.2 billion ANR Robinson International Airport expansion project had been halted owing to the covid19 pandemic.

In January, two contracts were signed between Nidco and China Railway: one for upgrading the terminal building and the other for constructing the new terminal and associated works.

According to George, the upgrades were supposed to start "almost immediately," but he said that the current stay-at-home order had temporarily grounded the project.

George said no new timeline had been agreed to, as the covid19 situation was fluid.

He said the process of acquiring 53 acres of land between Store Bay Local Road and the airport perimeter fence in the Bon Accord area was ongoing.


"Rowley: Covid19 won’t delay Tobago airport expansion"

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