US 100M for St. Lucia’s Airport

Plans are underway for the expansion of the Hewanorra International Airport.

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St. Lucia International Airport

New terminal planned for Hewanorra International Airport.

On Dec. 11, 2018, the Parliament of Saint Lucia agreed to borrow US$100 million for the Hewanorra International Airport redevelopment project.

The project includes the construction of a new terminal building equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, restaurants, shops and executive lounges; while the old terminal will be refurbished to accommodate fixed-based operators (FBOs).

The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) said such developments will provide an added incentive for airlines to open up new routes to the destination.

“We have exhausted the current capacity of the Hewanorra International Airport, and the airport redevelopment project is part of government’s broader plan to expand the island’s room stock by 50 percent in the next eight years,” said Minister for Tourism, Hon. Dominic Fedee.

Saint Lucia currently has a room stock of just over 5,000 rooms spread across large and small hotels, villas, guest houses and apartments. Acting CEO of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Mrs. Tiffany Howard said: “It is a welcome development and great news for the tourism industry. The SLTA continues to negotiate for more airlift into the island and having a new, modern airport to leverage with airline partners is a huge asset.”

At present, Saint Lucia welcomes close to 400,000 stayover visitors every year, with the largest number coming from the US market (45 percent), followed by the Caribbean (20 percent), the UK (18.5 percent) and Canada (10.5 percent). Tourism accounts for 65 percent of the island’s economic activity.

In 2017, the government instituted a US$35 airport development charge (ADC) on each arrival to finance the US$100 million loan from the Taiwanese government. The Taiwanese are also providing much needed technical support on the project.

Construction of the new terminal is slated to begin early this year with the goal of having a fully-functional facility by the end of 2020.