The decision as to whether the first international airport in St Vincent & the Grenadines will be state-run or privatised is expected to be made within the next two months, it has been revealed.
Speaking to Airport World during the Routes Americas conference in The Bahamas, Glen Beache, CEO of the St Vincents & the Grenadine’s Tourism Authority, said the government was mulling whether to put operation of the new airport out to tender or to run it directly.
“The government is going to decide in the next two months whether it is going to be privatised,” Beache said, adding “I think it should be privatised and that is the message I am putting forward to them.”
On track to be completed by November 2013, the new Argyle airport will have one terminal and will be capable of handling 1mppa and is expected to handle its first international flights in 2014.
Funding has come from countries including Qatar, Venezuela, Cuba and Iran and Beache believes that private, foregin ownership would be the best way to develop the new gateway’s future route network.
“If you have someone who is experienced in this sort of management it helps you to attract the airlines, they have the network to attract international carriers, we have to take this into consideration,” he said.
“The operators of Grantley Adams International Airport are doing a good job, the Portugese also have a lot of good examples [of private ownership] out there, it is a matter of choosing the right one.”
Once completed, Argyle International Airport will be capable of handling aircraft up to the size of a B747.