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Melville Hall Airport
IATA: DOMICAO: TDPD
Summary
Airport type Public
Location Dominica
Elevation AMSL 73 ft / 22 m
Coordinates 15°32′49.3″N 61°18′00″W / 15.547028°N 61.3°W / 15.547028; -61.3Coordinates: 15°32′49.3″N 61°18′00″W / 15.547028°N 61.3°W / 15.547028; -61.3
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
09/27 4,777 1,456 Asphalt

Melville Hall Airport (IATA: DOMICAO: TDPD) is an airport located on the northeast coast of Dominica, two miles (3 km) northwest of Marigot, it is about one hour away from the second largest city Portsmouth. It is one of only two airports in the island nation of Dominica, the other being Canefield Airport located three miles (5 km) northeast of Roseau. There is no night time service, because the airports do not have night lights.

The Melville Hall area was chosen as the site for Dominica's main airport in 1944, for it was the only place on the island with extensive flat land.[1] It was only after the completion of the Transinsular Road from Belles to Marigot, in 1958, that work on the airport began.[1][2] The facility opened on November 22, 1961, and was first served by Dakotas from BWIA.[2]

Contents

Airlines and destinations Night Landing and Cost of international airport

Also Night landing due by Apirl 2,2010 with new Fire station expected

The Runway Extension Project of the Melville Hall Airport is expected to be completed in March so night landing services can commence on island.

At the Cabinet swearing-in ceremony on January 04 at the Windsor Park Stadium, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced that night landing services would be ready in “a matter of weeks.”

However, at a press conference this afternoon the prime minister explained that there had been delays due to contractual issues. He said the project will possibly be handed over in March for commencement of night landing.

Discussions are also being held with American Airlines and LIAT officials regarding the service, according to PM Skerrit, who added “and now we confirm that a 737 can land in Dominica with no difficulties. This happened in December, I was advised. I didn’t see it myself.”

“We’re on target… of course there were some delays obviously for some other issues – contractual issues – but we on target. We’re pushing work, work is ongoing. Some of the lighting infrastructure is in place already,” he said, in response to a question from a Dominica News Online reporter.

Meanwhile, DNO understands that work is still being done on the Runway End Safety Area (RESA) of Runway 27. The airstrip is being leveled and ramp lights are being added to it, a source close to airport operations revealed.

Prime Minister Skerrit asked persons to be optimistic about the night landing facility.

“There have been test landing here done already, I think last year December. So, we’re well on track and let’s keep our fingers crossed that the night landing can function properly … the only people who are going to benefit from this are the people of Dominica; because clearly we have to open up Dominica for a longer period of time and night landing would serve us very, very well,” he stated. Also

Minister responsible for National Security Charles Savarin has expressed dissatisfaction with the slow pace of construction of a fire station at the Melville Hall Airport.

Speaking at a press conference at the Roseau Fire and Ambulance Department on Wednesday, Savarin said that with the impending night landing service to be introduced at the airport, it is critical that a proper fire station is constructed. He said that there have been unnecessary delays in the construction of the structure.

“At the moment…I am particularly concerned that we have not made as much progress as I would have liked us to make with regards to the construction of a new fire station at Melville Hall. We are introducing, pretty shortly, night landing; we will have to increase the number of firemen because their hours will be much longer and therefore we need to have more accommodation. We will have more appliances than has normally been the case and we need a better, a larger, facility,” Savarin explained.

Savarin said that much time had been spent on plans and identifying a suitable spot for the structure, but the construction has still been delayed.

“And that is all part of the development of the Melville Hall Airport, and I would have wished to see much greater progress being made. There was a lot of time spent in identifying the location and coming to terms on the plans and all of the various things and so on; but I thought that we were unnecessarily delayed in the implementation of that aspect of the project, the whole Melville Hall air access improvement project,” he told Wednesday’s press briefing.

Savarin said that though his new ministry is not responsible for the Melville Hall Airport, he is now responsible for the fire service and this places him back in the position to be involved in the project. He said he is looking forward to a speedy conclusion.

ALSO

GOVERNMENT REMAINS COMMITTED TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF AN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT SAYS PRIME MINISTER SKERRIT

Roseau, Dominica – April 10, 2008……………………… Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit has reiterated his government’s commitment to the construction of an international airport in Dominica.In an address to returning nationals in the village of Wesley recently, the Prime Minister said: “This Government has never said it is against an international airport. What we have said is that it is going to be difficult for the Treasury of Dominica to be able to build an international airport all by itself.”

The Prime Minister also told the large gathering of overseas-based Dominicans that the process towards building an international airport would take years, describing it as “a massive undertaking”.

In the meantime, Government is pursuing the development of the Melville Hall Airport as a short to medium response to inadequate air access into Dominica.

Hon. Skerrit also revealed that several interested parties had expressed an interest in assisting in the construction of the international airport. Hon. Skerrit also mentioned that coming out of the recent 19th CARICOM Inter-Sessional Meeting in Trinidad, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago had established a special facility for the OECS, specifically to assist the Commonwealth of Dominica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the construction of an international airport in their countries.

The Dominica government is to construct an international airport mere weeks after Tourism Minister Ian Douglas said that the island could not afford such a facility, according to the Caribbean Media Corporation news agency website.Economic Development, Julius Timothy, said that the Roosevelt Skerrit administration was holding talks with investors in Dubai on the project.

BUT AS OF RIGHT NOW

Prime Minister Skerrit’s recent pronouncements at a Marigot Town hall meeting about plans to build an International Airport for Dominica, are just more empty election talk. Mr Skerrit’s lack of seriousness, his total confusion and his government’s several contradictions about International Airport, are conveyed in his 2009/ 2010 budget address and his Government’s Growth and Social Protection Strategy (GSPS) presented to Parliament at its recent sitting on July 31st 2009. According to the Skerrit Government in its GSPS, p65, “Dominica’s public finances are now in a far better shape. Yet the new airport with a runway of 3000m, capable of facilitating direct services from North America and Europe, would cost in the region of EC$400 million.” In Mr Skerrit’s budget Speech presented to the same Parliament, on page23, his pronouncement shifts drastically, he says: “What we can say thus far is that a new international airport will cost close to EC$1 billion ”, a variation of over 150%.Mr Skerrit continues, “Very preliminary calculations of the economic implications of constructing an international airport, costing approximately EC$1 billion, borrowed today, with a 30-year term and grace period of three years, at say, 5% interest, and with a first disbursement in November 2009, suggest that central government debt-to-GDP ratio would be close about 118% of GDP at full disbursement. These projections are extremely conservative in that they assume that there will be no other borrowings by Government over the 30 year term of the loan, for any other purpose – economic, social or disaster –related.” Skerrit’s Pronouncements, Wild and Irresponsible. A difference in estimates from $400m to $1000 million represents a two and half times variation. This is wild and irresponsible. No Government or Minister of Finance who is serious about one of the Country’s most important Development Projects would present such wild and irresponsible estimates to Parliament about a Project as important as The International Airport. This vast contradiction in the Skerrit Government’s estimates of the cost of construction of an international Airport for Dominica confirms clearly that Mr Skerrit and his Government’s pronouncements on International Airport are just empty election talk. Skerrit’s Short Term vision Dominicans Are Still Paying the High Cost of Mr Skerrit’s lack of vision. In April 2003, before the Government of Dominica embarked upon the night landing project for Melville hall Airport, Hon. Prevost presented an opposition members motion to Parliament, calling on the Labour Party Government to, “..set up a special committee consisting of Members of Parliament from all three political Parties, to work with Government in arriving at the best short, medium and long term solutions to Dominica’s critical air access problem,” pointing out that, “ ..a large investment in Melville hall airport at this stage, would only meet Dominica’s air access needs in the short run..and would make it very difficult for Dominica to economically justify the construction of an international Airport for the next fifteen Years. ”. However the Labour Government at the time rejected the proposal, and opted to proceed with plans to install night landing at Melville hall Airport, with regional funds from the European Union, even though it was known to be only a short term solution to Dominica’s air access problem. To date, more than six years later, the short term has come and gone, and the night landing facility at Melville hall, which according to Governments estimate will cost about EC $110m has not been completed. According to Hon Prevost, “The fact that the Skerrit Government has taken more than six years to complete an EC100m airport night landing project, is an indication of the Governments lack of capacity, and the logical deduction from this is that it would take the same government 60 years, to complete an EC$1 Billion ($1000 million) International Airport. Dominican’s just cannot afford another five years of Mr Skerrit talking about the poor air access to the island. Press release from the Office of Hon. Norris Prevost

Cargo Airlines

Only on Tuesday

References

  1. ^ a b Honychurch, Lennox, p. 191. The Dominica Story. ISBN 0-333-62776-8. Macmillan Publishing. Accessed November 19, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Cracknell, Basil E., pp. 103-4. Dominica. ISBN 0-8117-0531-5 (US)/ISBN 0-7153-6084-1 (UK). David & Charles Ltd. Accessed November 19, 2007.
  3. ^ http://www.conviasa.aero/interna.php?id=16

http://www.dominicacentral.com/commentary/pm-skerrit-gives-more-empty-talk-on-international-airport.html

http://www.dominica.gov.dm/cms/index.php?q=node/172

External links

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