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A section of the new US$98 million terminal building at V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua. (Photo: Facebook)
A section of the new US$98 million terminal building at V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua. (Photo: Facebook)
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Head of the International Airport Development Company (IADC), Rudy Matthias says the company uses prudently all monies it receives to build the airport, carded for completion this year.

Matthias on Thursday used the terminal building at the Argyle International Airport and the new terminal building at the V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua to show how Vincentians are getting “good value for money” for the Argyle airport, which is estimated to cost EC$700 million

“Every so often, we in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we Vincentians, sometimes tend to think that great things are happening elsewhere and nothing good is happening in St. Vincent … But the truth is, the opposite is exactly the case,” he said at a ceremony where U.S.-based Vincentians donated US$10,000 to the project.


“In many regard, we are doing far better than what happens in many of our sister countries in the Caribbean and in many countries in the world,” Matthias said.

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He said the IADC is building a 9,000-foot-runway airport from scratch that will cost US$224 million.

Of that amount, US$60 million is for the acquisition of the site, including compensating property owners.

This means that the IADC is actually spending US$164 million to build and retrofit the airport, said Matthias, who attended the inauguration recently of the new terminal building in Antigua.

That terminal building, he said, was built with Chinese funds and mainly with Chinese labour at a cost of US$98 million.

It has 240,000 square feet of floor space, about 105,000 square feet more than Argyle; four jet bridges — twice as many as Argyle; 46 check-in positions (20 more than Argyle), and a sophisticated baggage handling system.

The US$37 million terminal building at Argyle.
The US$37 million terminal building at Argyle. (Photo: Facebook)

The terminal building that was built at Argyle cost US$37 million to construct and retrofit.

It has 135,000 square feet of floor space on three floors, two jet bridges, 26 check-in positions, and two simple baggage systems in domestic and international terminals.

“So you can see their facilities are more than ours — in some respects, twice as many as ours. But with simple calculations, you will see that their cost is 2.6 times ours…” Matthias said.

“Now, I am not suggesting that Antigua did not get a good price for their facilities. But I just want to juxtapose what they have done with what we are going, so that Vincentians can get a good appreciation for the extent we are going to control cost in getting the good facilities we have at Argyle.

“Prudence is a word that we understand very much at Argyle and everything that we do at Argyle is to ensure that we get the best facilities at the smallest price,” he said.

Matthias said officials in Antigua say that at peak hour the terminal building in Argyle will allow them to handle 1,700 passengers comfortably.

This compares to 1,000 at Argyle.

The facility in Antigua will allow the airport to handle two million passengers a year. Argyle’s will handle 1.5 million comfortably annually.

“So we can compare them and I think when you look at the numbers carefully, you will see that we have really done at Argyle an excellent job in getting good value for money,” Matthias said.

11 replies on “Compared to Antigua, Argyle’s terminal is ‘good value for money’ – Matthias”

  1. 1,500,000 annually
    125,000 monthly
    28,846 weekly
    4,121 daily
    230 people arriving every hour, 18 hours a day, seven days a week.
    That is the same crap presented again. Do you all remember when they told us before stories such as this?

    There are 400 people on a wide bodied Jumbo Jet so that will take 10 or 11 of that type of aircraft each day to achieve those numbers, or 22X200 seat aircraft , or 52 LIAT aircraft.
    Remember when I wrote this, and they are still telling the same lies, and the same people at home and in the diaspora believe every word they are told.

    The mention of the $60 million for the land, they have not paid for the land the land owners are still owed their money right up until the time you read this. They compensated some ULP home owners but the land owners are still waiting.

    The lies have gone on year after year, lies repeated lies embroidered. Making exaggerations knowing they are untrue and unachievable are not exaggerations those statements are gross lies.

    The airport cannot and will not be opened and running at anytime in 2015, that is just another lie.

    1. Like I said, Jumby economics, jumby math. Give the man an abacus. Teach im to count. Obviously cannot count past 10 with his shoes on and his pants up. 114 days left in the year. Are we there yet?

  2. Vincy_LoveOfCountry says:

    It’s good to know the numbers and statistics, however can St.Vincent be even compared with other Caribbean countries? Is it wise? One doesn’t have to look too keenly to realise that we are far behind in many aspects. The question at the end of the day is will this project be able to meet its date of completion and be fully operational by “end of year”?

    1. Jumb economics, jumby arithmetic. Give the man an abacus. Maybe he is looking through jumby spectacles and that’s why he is seeing what none of us can. Don’t mean to make a joke of somehting so serious, but they are telling us jokes.

      1. Vincy_LoveOfCountry says:

        Exactly, it’s all ludicrous and just outright insulting the intelligence of the Vincentian people. He is getting paid either way and cares less at the end of the day. These people know exactly what is going on but just want to keep the ignorant and foolish under a delusion. I wonder how many are buying into all of this? It really makes you have to laugh at the whole matter.

  3. The “truth”? “The opposite is exactly the case”?

    Here is exactly the case. “Value for money” of a project cannot be determined by comparing the amount of money you invest vs the amount another country invests in a similar project.

    Value for money of *your* project is determined by:

    1. The amount of money you invest up front (ie: the capital investment) in the project;

    2. The amount of money spent (or estimated to be spent) each year to operate and maintain the enterprise;

    3. The amount of money to be spent on repaying the loans you have taken to build the project;

    4. The amount of financial and other benefits, expressed in dollar values, to be derived from the enterprise.

    Based on this news report, all that Dr Matthias has spoken about is the amount of money invested up front by SVG and by Antigua, in their respective airports. That’s item 1 above. No mention of items 2, 3 and 4. Such a “simple calculation” would not even pass muster in a rumshop chat between regular fellows.

    The truth is that a man with a PhD in financial economics knows fully well that the simple Antigua vs SVG argument he has put forward is bogus nonsense. Either he just takes us all for fools, or perhaps he is just following instructions to treat us like fools. Unacceptable either way, and Vincentians need to stop accepting this sort of insult.

    1. Vincy_LoveOfCountry says:

      It seems that we love to be insulted by these people who are well informed and know what’s going on but just sugar coating things. I am in no way anti-development but the money borrowed and spent so far to undertake this project could have been used wisely to finance other important things eg. Hospital. Most people only support the construction of an international airport to facilitate “easier transit” from overseas to St. Vincent as they hate the idea of going through Barbados. However as you listed above they don’t take into account many things:
      . The amount of money you invest up front (ie: the capital investment) in the project;

      2. The amount of money spent (or estimated to be spent) each year to operate and maintain the enterprise;

      3. The amount of money to be spent on repaying the loans you have taken to build the project;

      4. The amount of financial and other benefits, expressed in dollar values, to be derived from the enterprise.

      Sadly for these people who are eager for an international airport they fail to take into consideration the construction of more important things. They will learn the hardway in due time.

      1. 1. Like I have said on more than one occasion, somebody help us if, God forbid, we really get an international airport and we have just one air disaster. Anyone seen the hospital lately? Had to seek medical care in SVG lately? Try it. Some equipment still in use from the sixties. There is no incentive for the Govt. to fix, as they can afford to get a plane and fly off to Barbados or Trini.

        2. No work on the medical services or infrastructure to support the airport. Roads? Accomodations? Food?

        3. If people don’t like going through Barbados, there are several other Caribbean International airports which one can use – Port of Spain, Grenada, St. Lucia, Antigua, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten. I personally prefer Barbados to any of the others, and it’s only a short ride to SVG.

        Like I said Jumby economics for what the leaders treat like a jumby country.

      2. Vincy_LoveOfCountry says:

        You are not the only one to have thought along the line of this country having the occurence of a disaster on a critical level. Will the MCMH be able to fully and adequately respond to such a disaster? Considering the state it is in well the answer may not be hard would it. I having been a Registered student Nurse and a recent graduate this year June 2015, I no fully well the whole dilemma. The place is not what it should be for a place that provides medical treatment. They recently repaired the paediatrics ward using money from overseas and lately the female surgical ward. You dont need to be Florence Nightingale to know that there has to be a healthy environment that is conducive to the recovery and healing of persons. Their arent adequate supplies and the pharmacy literally doesnt have the medication you need so you have to get prescription to go outside and buy. One of the Sisters at the hospital was even telling me” one day you never know the hospital may have to shut down”.
        Yes a lot of equipment are still been used which are from long years aback. A lot of important things really arent getting the necessary focus and attention.
        They pretty much think we are “Prime Minister critics” always going on and on. I for one am concerned for my country where I was born and wont just sit back idly doing nothing while it is suffering greatly. I pretty much dont support any political party. I will not be so ignorant to be blinded by love of a certain party while my country is getting no where in progress but regressing. They train nurses whom they claim are best in the region but when it comes to getting medical treatment they decide to fly out to some other country. This I see as an insult to the people of this nation in that we seem not be competent and well equipped to give treatment to our leader. I might get criticised for this but I dont care…the truth aint comforting.
        You are indeed correct the are other routes of transit that persons can take to get to St. Vincent if they dont want to venture through Barbados territory.

  4. I am always going to state that the NDP was in Office for a long time . It had an opportunity to
    build an International Airport in St. Vincent . But apparently that was not in its Agenda . I have
    no doubt that had the NDP built an International Airport , it would have cost less than Argyle
    is costing the Nation .

    But more importantly , St. Vincent & the Grenadines would have been much more developed ,
    with Hotels , and Commerce improving . I find it interesting that this newspaper publishes
    pictures about various Countries in the Region , and try comparing them to mainland St. Vincent . They never ever cite the fact that the NDP retarded the progress of SVG , by not
    having the good sense to build an International Airport . The Ulp cannot be blamed for what
    the NDP failed to do .

    It is therefore asinine , to now be critical of the cost of the Argyle International Airport , and continuously harp about the lack of Hotels . Does any One really believe that Hoteliers would
    build Hotels in St. Vincent , if there is not an International Airport . Look having an International Airport is essential to the development of St. Vincent .

    The NDP had an opportunity to build an International Airport ; History informs us that they did not build one . So now that the Argyle Airport is nearing completion , the NDP & its Supporters are upset . I recall during the Administration of the NDP , reading that the European Union had given the NDP Government money towards building an Airport . I was elated , until I found out that the money was used to build the Airport in Bequia .

    This is why the fact is that by doing nothing regarding building an International Airport , the
    NDP ; like it or not retarded progress in St. Vincent . Now this aint a figment of my imagination
    it is a stark fact , that must be factored into the equation when any consideration is proposed
    regarding the progress in other Countries in the Region & the lack of hotels etc in St. Vincent .

    The NDP needs to offer an apology to the People in St Vincent , for being in Office for 17 years , and never bestirred itself to build an International Airport in St. Vincent . This fact may
    come up in the General Elections in SVG . I sincerely hope that the NDP has a satisfactory
    answer when that question is posed to them .


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