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SLASPA clears the air on airport development charge

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Contact: Adhara King


Monday 30 May 2011 Officials of the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) has dispelled public notions surrounding the ongoing Hewanorra International Airport development project.


Ben Emmanuel, SLASPA Senior Director of Corporate Services and Administration says while physical construction at the facility has not begun, the project is already underway.


Emmanuel says contrary to the perception of some, collection of the Airport Development Charge (ADC) prior to construction is not unusual.


“There are many other countries undertaking similar types of models for example the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and others that have ADC legislation and collection in place with no intention of commencing construction until 2-3 years down the road. What they're actually doing as part of their financial arrangement is collecting the revenue, and building a reserve which would allow them to reduce their debt requirement.”


Saint Lucia could have opted to do the same, Emmanuel says, but recognising the urgency to address the status-quo, the arrangement was adjusted accordingly.


“The notion that we are already collecting the ADC and nothing is actually happening is a little misplaced because a lot has happened, a lot of work has taken place, and a lot of expenditure has been incurred.”


Emmanuel says SLASPA has been undertaking measures as part of its obligation to satisfy the lender that its collection mechanism—both in terms of the regulatory framework as well as the ability to collect the funds—is in fact in operation.”

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