Fri 14th Dec 2007

Argyle airport is obsolete economically and financially

In March 2005, the economically competent SVG Green party in a press release predicted that the proposed Argyle airport was a misfit to the SVG economy. It will be a waste of 800 million dollars and be a similar economic blunder as the Bequia airport, which has minimal flights and not been a revenue earner for SVG. The Argyle airport is obsolete economically and financially even before any earth work starts. Buying big cranes cannot hide these facts.

Based on economic intelligence, SVG Green party puts forward some of the many factors which go against the incompetent ULP regime from realistically building the Argyle airport, these are:

  • the high debt to GDP ratio has forced the ULP regime from allocating significant funds to its construction;
  • no cost / benefit analysis gives the green light for the airport;
  • no Environmental Impact study shows overwhelming favour for the airport;
  • the coming on-stream of the modernized Canouan airport with a longer runway is a substantial blow for the Argyle airport. Passengers using new generation aircrafts can travel from all over the world to Canouan;
  • the recent massive defeat of President Chavez in Venezuela has left Chavez a weakened man and his promises of money for the airport a pipe dream. Chavez will be out of power soon - the people of Venezuela have spoken and they want him out;
  • the proposed location of the Argyle airport is a bad choice. It would be exposed to strong sea salt blasts which would make maintenance costs unaffordably high. International airlines will be highly unlikely to use the Argyle airport knowing that Canouan is a safer choice;
  • the Argyle airport would be a misfit to the SVG economy in that it will not stimulate the SVG economy and make a profit. There is no financial and economic justification for the Argyle airport.

SVG economy cannot sustain the cost of building the Argyle airport given that it will not bring income to cover the expense of 800 million dollars of building it. Any attempt to use money from the already weak SVG economy to build the airport will cause a rapid earthquake to the SVG economy. The ULP regime should take intelligent evasive action and cancel the Argyle airport. It is better to plan for SVG's long-term financial stability. We have already seen that the ULP regime's other short-sighted projects over the past 6 years have caused the high increase of violent crime in SVG.

The SVG Green party calls on the short-sighted ULP regime to conduct an up to date audit of the usefulness of the Argyle airport. We already have 5 airports and the reasons above show that the 800 million dollars could be better spent helping the poor, the unemployed and giving the children of SVG a proper and more modern education system. Money is desperately needed to bring people out of poverty and to put together and run a coherent strategy to reduce the scale of violent crime and rape in SVG. An SVG Green party government will build a strong prosperous SVG economy without the Argyle airport.

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