The SVG government and the International Airport Development Company (IADC) are building Argyle International Airport, the country’s first international airport, expected to open at the end of 2015.
Plans toward making Argyle a “green” airport will move a step closer this month, when officials of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) return to SVG to sign a loan agreement for $750,000 towards the setting up of a Solar Photovoltaic System at the new airport.
The system will help reduce electricity costs at Argyle, making it the second airport in the eastern Caribbean region to be solar powered, following the debut of the solar farm at Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport in St. Kitts. Argyle will eventually provide two megawatts of electricity, but in the first phase of development provide 220 kilowatts, partially powering its terminal building.
“Our new Argyle International Airport is going to transform the tourism industry, making SVG one of the most sought-after and ‘green’ destinations in the eastern Caribbean,” said Glen Beache, CEO of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority, in a written release. “In addition, the new airport terminal, which will be partially powered by solar energy, has been carefully sized to accommodate our expected growth in passenger traffic over both the medium and long term.”
Argyle International Airport is the largest development project ever undertaken in SVG and is a critical cog in the evolution of the multifaceted, multi-island destination’s growing hospitality sector.
The new airport, which will replace the existing ET Joshua Airport, will offer nonstop international jet service from North American and European gateways. To-date, Argyle is progressing well: the terminal construction is complete; the paving of the runway has been underway and should be completed by approximately mid-June; and the current completion date is July with the airport slated to open at the end of 2015.
The progress on the new airport has sparked the interest of major carriers from the U.S., Canada and Europe along with leading hotel and resort companies who are taking a closer look at investment opportunities in SVG.
The project for the new international airport initially broke ground in August 2007 and is a $240 million investment, the country’s most costly capital project in its history.