By Loshaun Dixon
The Government of St Kitts and Nevis has taken a significant step towards enhancing the infrastructure of the federation’s largest airport as they are set for the rehabilitation of the Robert L. Bradshaw International.
Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, and International Transportation, Marsha Henderson, provided insights into the pressing need for the project.
“The cost of the airport rehabilitation project, we anticipate it to be just around US$ 6.5 million, which is less than what we met in place by the previous administration. “US$ 6.5 million is actually half of what was anticipated to execute the airport rehabilitation project.”
Henderson underscored the pivotal role of the airport in supporting the nation’s growing tourism industry, and highlighted the concerns expressed by airline partners regarding the current infrastructure’s ability to maintain their aircraft, which prompted the need for immediate measures.
“With the increased carriers such as JetBlue and all of the other legacy carriers, who have expressed some concerns about the ability at the airport to effect maintenance to their aircraft, we needed an interim solution until we can look at the expansion of the terminal to make provision for them to do repairs; hence why the hangar project is going to be implemented.”
The Minister further revealed that the concept of a hangar project had been discussed under the previous administration.
“In fact, something that I met in place by the previous board, they had executed an agreement with a potential developer to have a hangar installed. We are not opposed to it; we find that there is a need for it, and that, of course, is based on what our partners are expressing to us.”
The government has taken measures, implementing temporary work at the Robert L Bradshaw International Airport prior to preparing for the comprehensive rehabilitation project. While discussions are ongoing regarding the expansion of the second terminal to accommodate the airport’s long-term growth, interim improvements were deemed essential to meet the immediate needs of both travelers and airline partners.
“We understand that there is an overall need to expand the facility and infrastructure at the airport,” Minister Henderson stated. “For the upcoming season, and to accommodate our partners, we thought that we needed to do some interim work. This project will not only strengthen the airport’s infrastructure but also support the growth and sustainability of the nation’s vital tourism industry.”
Henderson also announced that Kelly’s Construction was the successful bidder for the rehabilitation project.