Oranjestad, St. Eustatius- This afternoon Government Commissioner Mike Franco performed the act of breaking ground for what will be a brand new passenger building and air traffic control tower in St. Eustatius.
The ground breaking ceremony took place before a small crowd of invitees comprising the contractors, the Social Advisory Council and businesses doing business at the FDR Airport.
The current passenger building was constructed in 1972 and has since undergone at least 4 major renovations. Addressing the gathering Government Commissioner Marcolino stressed that the start of this new airport is a day several generations of Statians have waited for. “Today marks the end of upgrades to an old structure and the beginning of a brand new and long awaited construction of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Airport. Today St. Eustatius is able to achieve another important milestone in its development thanks to the commitment of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management that are funding this project.”
The AFISO Tower will comprise of three stories with a 360 degree around vision in a dedicated FISO cabin. North-East of the existing terminal building a new, modern and well equipped terminal building will be constructed.
The new passenger terminal building will be a single story structure of 1.100 square meters. The contractors who will construct the new airport are van Boekel and Infra BV.
Maldwyn Timber of the Directorate of Economy, Nature & Infrastructure will be involved with the project on behalf of the Public Entity of St. Eustatius, while the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has appointed Eric Hillebrandie as project leader.
Franco stressed that travelers, entrepreneurs doing business at FDR Airport as well as employees will experience temporary inconveniences in the name of progress. “One such inconvenience relates to parking. A part of the parking area will be used by contractors during the construction process. Alternative parking is already arranged a few yards further near the Mike van Putten Youth Centre and well within walking distance of the airport.”
Franco also promised that Government would keep the general public informed on the progress of the project. The project is scheduled to complete by November 2020.