When we think of island nations like Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique it is not uncommon for the smaller islands of the grouping to be lesser in focus when consideration is given to the overall economic development and potential of the country.
Even in the area of aviation this is so, with Grenada – considering its size and population – naturally being home to the largest and most modern international airport.
But what if such a facility could exist elsewhere?
Well it seems the great minds that are the leadership of the Grenada Airport Authority (GAA) have been eying such a possibility in Carriacou – at Dumfries to be precise as part of their overall Aviation Development Master Plan.
The US$111 million concept of the project could result in a multi-fold operation that begins with the utilization of an unoccupied section of the vast flat and spacious Dumfries community, perfectly positioned to accommodate an airstrip more than three times the length of what currently exists in Lauriston.
This would mean a facility that accommodates aircrafts larger than LIAT’s ATRs, and could even support small jets and allow for night flights. This would certainly change the aviation landscape in Carriacou.
But that is only the immediate effects of the airport facility. The Dumfries investment concept in its entirety – if realized – could not only increase airlift to the picturesque Carriacou with connections to other adjacent islands, but it could also result into additional investment opportunities like the construction of an airport hotel and resort. The latter would present its own spin of economic and other opportunities there.
This creates a kaleidoscope of growth and development potential that would undoubtedly improve the quality of life and economic activities for the people of Carriacou.
In the grand scheme of things, there are also provisions for Medivac Services with the construction of a mini-health facility at the new airport. And the creation of a solar plant, a water treatment plant, fuel farm and cargo bond to further cement Carriacou’s footing as a self-contained mini-destination that could even provide services and support to other neighboring nations.
Business Focus OECS has been informed that while a feasibility study for this project has not yet been conducted, it remains a strong part of the future plans of the GAA and by the time it comes to fruition the Authority is expected to have made sufficient inroads from the MBIA development to effectively pilot Dumfries.
Between the execution of these projects though, the GAA has considered many other options that includes a potential concessionary arrangement with a private investor to manage and operate the Lauriston airport and possibly convert it into an FBO of sorts that cater to private jets. This move would certainly improve the quality of arrivals to the island and of course encourage the development of general aviation services.
Options also exist for the development of new apartment complexes and hotels that could encourage investors or potential new Grenadian nationals looking to take advantage of the attractive Grenada Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme.