Some $31.5 million of capital resources in the Budget for 2017 has been allocated to make payments related to the completion of the construction of the Argyle International Airport (AIA), and the acquisition of furnishings and equipment for its operation.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves in his Budget Address said the estimated cost of construction and equipping of AIA is approximately EC $700 million.

Dr. Gonsalves said the actual estimated value of the construction is in excess of EC $1 billion, much more than the actual construction cost, given the in-kind assistance provided by several partners.

He said the debt on the AIA is approximately EC$400 million, most of it (over EC $300 million) in “soft loan” terms, mainly from ALBA, Petro Caribe, and Taiwan.

According to the Prime Minister assets, mainly property owned by AIA (but not including the airport itself), the IADC, and National Properties Limited (for IADC), amount to over EC $400 million.  In short, there are enough assets available to pay for the debt at AIA.

He said one significant operational cost of the AIA is that of electricity.

The Argyle International Airport will officially open on Tuesday February 14, 2017.

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