In a Press Conference in August 2023, the Honourable Dr. Skerrit announced exciting developments in the international airport project. The government has successfully employed just over 200 Dominicans in the construction phase of the Dominica international airport project.
Dominica international airport project
Honourable Dr. Skerrit said that, “On the construction of the international airport project works are progressing very well and on schedule.” This is a positive indication of Dominica’s international airport project developments and that, “I want to also say that there are 207 Dominicans on the international airport project.”
The government intends to employ over 1000 Dominicans as the project reaches another development stage. They will discuss opportunities with local truck operators to play a part in the project advancements.
On 9 June 2021, the Government of Dominica and Montreal Management Consultant Establishment (MMCE) signed a US$1 billion contract at Windsor Park Sports Stadium that officiated the construction of the international airport project.
In June 2023, the mobilisation work commenced on the international airport. This work will structure onsite facilities to advance the construction phase of the project.
The CEO of International Airport Development Company, Samuel Johnson detailed the arrival of equipment and work on the site.
Samuel Johnson explained that work being done with a contractor, including various lab testing of the concrete and asphalt batching, and to ensure the site surface area levelled accurately, and clearing the site to commence construction work.
The mobilisation work being done on site is one of the largest earthworks projects in the Eastern Caribbean region.
During the budget address 2023/24, the Finance Minister of Dominica, Dr. Irving McIntyre, announced that the passenger terminal building of the international airport is expected to start construction in August 2024.
Additional work on the runway, taxiway and apron will commence in October 2025.
For over 50 years the Dominican dream for an international airport can now be realised for the local citizens and government.
Douglas Charles Airport
As the international airport project is well underway, the Douglas Charles Airport is receiving a runway facelift.
Honourable Dr. Skerrit described the changes made to the Douglas Charles Airport as, “The runway will extend westwards to give aircrafts on overall available take-off run of 1,936 meters for runway 09, that is from the mountain end and up from the current 1,756 metres.”
Runway 27 will also extend to 1,808 metres, therefore increasing the landing distance for aircrafts. There will also be an upgraded apron parking and grooving to enhance safety during rainy days.
These runway extensions comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Additionally, they’ve been approved by the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority. The approvals will support pilots’ confidence on landing.
The Minister of Tourism of Dominica, Denise Charles, visited the Douglas Charles Airport to assess the runway developments, and is excited with the progress. The expected completion date is in October 2023.
American Airlines commenced direct flights to Douglas Charles Airport from December 2021. And with these latest upgrades to the airport will create opportunities for more flights to the island.
The Douglas Charles Airport and international airport developments are essential to increase the number of international flights and direct flights from the United States (US) to the island. The aim is that this will contribute towards boosting the tourism industry.
An increase in tourism
The new international airport is pivotal moment for transformation and economic development in Dominica.
This project will play an essential role in developing all sectors in the economy. Specifically in the agriculture, trade and tourism sectors.
The government is expecting a large turnaround of tourists during the World Creole Music Festival. This cultural event is set to support the tourism industry and takes place from 27 to 29 October 2023.
More recently, the country’s tourism sector continues to improve with the numerous international accolades and recognition.
By the year 2030, Dominica aims to have 500,000 stayover visitors in the country.