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Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (File photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said on Sunday that it is high time that “oppositionists” support the Argyle International Airport project.

He was speaking at the project site during a ceremony to break ground for the construction of the US$26.5 million terminal building.

Gonsalves, in his first public address since going on vacation four weeks ago, cited the biblical account of Solomon’s construction of the temple, nothing that David has left detailed plans and immense resources for its construction.

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He said that unlike Solomon, his administration, which came to office in 2001, was not left any plan or monies for building the airport.

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Gonsalves, speaking on the eve of his 65th birthday, noted opposition to the project, which was being construction in the face of the limited resources of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the global economic situation.

He said that 154 Vincentians and 47 Cuban are currently employed at the project.

About 80 more Vincentians will be employed when actual construction of the terminal building begins next week, with 800 persons expected to be employed when construction peaks.

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Gonsalves, in a speech interrupted by rain flies which swarmed the lights, said studies indicate that a cross-wind runway would be necessary only to accommodate aircraft flying to and from the Grenadines.

He said a crosswind runway would cost less than 1 per cent of the cost of the airport.

Gonsalves said the value of the works completed is EC$180 million but noted that the IADC has spent only EC$28 million.

(I Witness-News apologises for the quality of the audio in this post)