The Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) and the Government of Saint Lucia (GOSL) are at an advanced stage in finalizing the direction for the resumption of construction of the Hewanorra International Airport Redevelopment Project.
As a significant airport infrastructure improvement programme, initially, the HIA project considers improvement to the airside, terminal, and landside with a strategic intention to elevate the aviation ecosystem and passenger experience.
The HIA Redevelopment Project broke ground in 2019 and saw the commencement of construction, with piling for the terminal building nearing completion in March 2022.
In September 2021, the Government of Saint Lucia undertook a comprehensive review of the HIA Project to identify opportunities for fiscal space while proposing a realistic compromise for an upgraded airport infrastructure to meet the country’s evolving demands.
Additionally, the relevance of this review was further deemed necessary given the global economic shocks brought about by COVID-19, supply chain issues, and rising inflation.
Following a three-month undertaking, the review recommended four options for consideration which SLASPA, through its Ports Council, was to analyze and respond accordingly.
SLASPA expects a final position to be tabled and a direction approved by the Government by the beginning of the first quarter of 2023. The International Financial Cooperation of the World Bank’s Airport Planning Specialist is providing support for this exercise.
In keeping with its commitment to improving the airport infrastructure, while a decision is being finalized for the overall direction, the Government has approved the construction of the Air Traffic Control Tower.
The new design will be equipped with the latest navigational tools and technology, replacing the more than 40year-old existing facility. As a critical aspect of the redevelopment programme, the new Air Traffic Control tower will stand at 100ft, providing optimum airfield surveillance.
Construction of the new building is set for the first quarter of 2023.
Regarding the progress update, SLASPA’s General Manager, Mr. Daren Cenac, described the process as necessary. “ As the statutory authority with oversight of Saint Lucia’s ports, we understand the priorities of the Government and will continue working with our principal shareholder to achieve a balanced compromise and realize the upgrade of this vital national asset. We are encouraged by the Government’s commitment to improving HIA and remain confident that SLASPA will deliver an efficient and modernized airport that will benefit all stakeholders.”
SOURCE: Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority