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No new or expanded airport

Premier and Governor say
by Bennette Roach

_9079907189The Hon. Premiere Reuben T Meade confirmed upon his return from Dubai three weeks ago, effectively confirming Governor Governor Adrian Davis’ position who responded to the concerns of many who took issue with him, on Jan. 24, 2013 at his monthly meet with the press, to this question about the John A Osborne airport.

“…there’s been quite a bit of concern as regard the airstrip at the John A. Osborne Airport and the need for possible expansion.  The question is, will the British government be in a position to provide the necessary funding for an expansion to the existing strip?”

The Governor responded as though he was expecting the question, firstly referencing part of a statement by the Hon. Donaldson Romeo recently made in Legislative Assembly. “First thing I would say is that I disagree with what the Leader of the Opposition said yesterday which I don’t think was actually referred to in any one’s reply where he made the blanket statement that everybody knows that Montserrat has an unsafe airport. That is completely untrue.  It is certified as safe for the planes that it receives,” the Governor said, adding that the airport is no more hazardous than several other airports around the world. “So, there is no question that Montserrat is operating “an unsafe airport.”
Governor responds about Aiport expansion and ferry as the best option

As for the UK government providing funds for expanding the “airstrip”, the Governor dismissed the thought and said it was not part of the GoM development strategy and that the airport issue is not “a fundamental constraint to Montserrat’s development.”

“Secondly, I don’t believe a fundamental constraint to Montserrat’s development is access by air.  I think one of the fundamental constraints to Montserrat’s development is access by sea, which is why I really emphasize the need – to get back a regular ferry service that gets you to and from Antigua in an hour…It’s always going to be access by sea that’s the critical constraint.” Gov Davis said.

The Governor continued: “You can’t expand the airport at the current location.  It can take Islanders.  It can take Twin Otters.  It can’t take anything else and you can’t expand it to take anything else,” he said. He then offered the “real question. ”So what you are effectively asking is to re-open the idea of moving the airport to somewhere else so it could take other planes.  I doubt if you would find that to be an economically justifiable investment. It hasn’t really been examined.  It is not on anyone’s horizon and certainly doesn’t form part of the Strategic Growth Program,” he contributed.

Premier Reuben Meade

Premier Reuben Meade

Premier confirms no airport expansion/development

Many expected a rebuttal or a denial by the Premier of the Governor’s position. It never happened but instead the Premier confirmed that the governor’s expression of his knowledge on the access issue. He reported a successful visit. “We left Dubai with a letter of intent addressed to the MDC basically indicating an interest in doing the hotel which is 150 rooms and twenty luxury villas on Potato Hill,” he told the media on April 19 at his office.

During questions that followed, the premier said that there is no need to do anything with the airport. He said that an upgrade to the ferry and its service along with the introduction of twin otters should take care of Montserrat’s access problems.

“No. In relation to the developer (Dubai discussions) and the developments which we are looking at the airport was not seen as a major issue greater focus was placed on a proper ferry and a port facility,” the Premier responded, explaining, “Most times despite the relative rough seas, and I say relative rough seas, if there is a suitable ferry, there are only a few days in the year then the ferry would not be able to operate provided we had a proper breakwater and docking facilities.”
Premier Meade no new airport development

Governor Adrian Davis

Governor Adrian Davis

He continued addressing the airport access. “The other one is that part of the MOU discussions which we are taking forward is the discussion of using the 19-seater aircraft (twin otter) which can utilise the facilities here to be able to bring that on stream this year…” he further explained.

Montserrat a unique destination negates need for bigger airport

He went on to justify the no need of an upgraded or new airport referencing still the Dubai discussions. “The other element which is being discussed still is we do not necessarily want to have a destination that is easy to get to which is what the developers are talking about. They want it to be a unique destination where people will pay money to come to, ‘cause they would not see the Ruben Meade’s and the Bennette Roaches’ laying on the beach next to them, given where their coming from as well. That part of the world they are also looking at the possibilities of if you’re getting the coffee get the coffee one time and done.”

In addition to the foregoing Premier Meade revealed that the developers who, as already said, seek to have Montserrat as a unique destination will build their own helicopter landing site  Premier speaks of Dubai developers and  helicopter services to Montserrat

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Premier and Governor say
by Bennette Roach

_9079907189The Hon. Premiere Reuben T Meade confirmed upon his return from Dubai three weeks ago, effectively confirming Governor Governor Adrian Davis’ position who responded to the concerns of many who took issue with him, on Jan. 24, 2013 at his monthly meet with the press, to this question about the John A Osborne airport.

“…there’s been quite a bit of concern as regard the airstrip at the John A. Osborne Airport and the need for possible expansion.  The question is, will the British government be in a position to provide the necessary funding for an expansion to the existing strip?”

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The Governor responded as though he was expecting the question, firstly referencing part of a statement by the Hon. Donaldson Romeo recently made in Legislative Assembly. “First thing I would say is that I disagree with what the Leader of the Opposition said yesterday which I don’t think was actually referred to in any one’s reply where he made the blanket statement that everybody knows that Montserrat has an unsafe airport. That is completely untrue.  It is certified as safe for the planes that it receives,” the Governor said, adding that the airport is no more hazardous than several other airports around the world. “So, there is no question that Montserrat is operating “an unsafe airport.”
Governor responds about Aiport expansion and ferry as the best option

As for the UK government providing funds for expanding the “airstrip”, the Governor dismissed the thought and said it was not part of the GoM development strategy and that the airport issue is not “a fundamental constraint to Montserrat’s development.”

“Secondly, I don’t believe a fundamental constraint to Montserrat’s development is access by air.  I think one of the fundamental constraints to Montserrat’s development is access by sea, which is why I really emphasize the need – to get back a regular ferry service that gets you to and from Antigua in an hour…It’s always going to be access by sea that’s the critical constraint.” Gov Davis said.

The Governor continued: “You can’t expand the airport at the current location.  It can take Islanders.  It can take Twin Otters.  It can’t take anything else and you can’t expand it to take anything else,” he said. He then offered the “real question. ”So what you are effectively asking is to re-open the idea of moving the airport to somewhere else so it could take other planes.  I doubt if you would find that to be an economically justifiable investment. It hasn’t really been examined.  It is not on anyone’s horizon and certainly doesn’t form part of the Strategic Growth Program,” he contributed.

Premier Reuben Meade

Premier Reuben Meade

Premier confirms no airport expansion/development

Many expected a rebuttal or a denial by the Premier of the Governor’s position. It never happened but instead the Premier confirmed that the governor’s expression of his knowledge on the access issue. He reported a successful visit. “We left Dubai with a letter of intent addressed to the MDC basically indicating an interest in doing the hotel which is 150 rooms and twenty luxury villas on Potato Hill,” he told the media on April 19 at his office.

During questions that followed, the premier said that there is no need to do anything with the airport. He said that an upgrade to the ferry and its service along with the introduction of twin otters should take care of Montserrat’s access problems.

“No. In relation to the developer (Dubai discussions) and the developments which we are looking at the airport was not seen as a major issue greater focus was placed on a proper ferry and a port facility,” the Premier responded, explaining, “Most times despite the relative rough seas, and I say relative rough seas, if there is a suitable ferry, there are only a few days in the year then the ferry would not be able to operate provided we had a proper breakwater and docking facilities.”
Premier Meade no new airport development

Governor Adrian Davis

Governor Adrian Davis

He continued addressing the airport access. “The other one is that part of the MOU discussions which we are taking forward is the discussion of using the 19-seater aircraft (twin otter) which can utilise the facilities here to be able to bring that on stream this year…” he further explained.

Montserrat a unique destination negates need for bigger airport

He went on to justify the no need of an upgraded or new airport referencing still the Dubai discussions. “The other element which is being discussed still is we do not necessarily want to have a destination that is easy to get to which is what the developers are talking about. They want it to be a unique destination where people will pay money to come to, ‘cause they would not see the Ruben Meade’s and the Bennette Roaches’ laying on the beach next to them, given where their coming from as well. That part of the world they are also looking at the possibilities of if you’re getting the coffee get the coffee one time and done.”

In addition to the foregoing Premier Meade revealed that the developers who, as already said, seek to have Montserrat as a unique destination will build their own helicopter landing site  Premier speaks of Dubai developers and  helicopter services to Montserrat