The Southern Caribbean archipelago of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has announced that construction is set to begin later this year on the new Argyle International airport, which will replace the existing facility when it becomes operational in the spring of 2012.
Covering 11,500sq m (123,784sq ft) of floor space, the $240m facility will be able to handle 1.4m passengers a year, almost quadrupling the capacity of the current airport. The country hopes the new facility will attract direct flights from major North American and European destinations to boost local tourism.
The new airport is being developed by the International Airport Development Co (IADC), a company wholly owned by the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines. According to IADC, construction of the terminal building will begin in the final quarter of 2010. No details of the retail or duty-free offering at the new facility have been revealed.
IADC CEO Rudolph Matthias said: “Our current airport’s short runway can only accommodate small planes traveling from neighboring islands, and its design and location prohibit planes from carrying cargo to capacity. As expansion of the current airport was technically unfeasible, SVG developed a plan to build a new international airport.”
“The new Argyle International airport will be a game changer for St Vincent and the Grenadines, as it will finally allow us to attract direct flights from major North American and European cities,” added SVG minister of tourism Glen Beache.