Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has has declared that a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model proposed by the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), will not give this country a ‘free’ airport.
“This is absolutely false,” Chastanet asserted in a post on his official Facebook page.
He observed that there are fundamental differences in his administration’s approach to the redevelopment of Hewanorra International Airport and that of the Opposition.
According to the PM, under the PPP proposed by the Labour Party, Saint Lucia would dedicate $60USD per passenger from the Airport Development tax to a private entity for 30 years.
“We currently receive 400,000 arrivals a year, which would give the PPP developer a yearly income of $24 Million USD and a total of $720 Million USD or $1.9 Billion EC over the 30 year period. Please note that the cost of redeveloping the airport is $175 Million USD,” Chastanet explained.
“By going with my Administration’s approach of taking a loan and dedicating this very same Airport Development tax towards repaying the loan, we will be able to repay the loan in 11 years,” he stated.
He observed that his administration’s approach would save Saint Lucia over $1 Billion EC dollars on this development alone; over $1 Billion of which could go into Agriculture, Healthcare, Education, Infrastructure, Security and many other social programmes instead of going into the hands of a private developer.