The government will have to acquire land through compulsory acquisition to extend the runway of Long Island’s Deadman’s Cay Airport to 6,500 feet when the airport is redeveloped, Director of Aviation Algernon Cargill explained yesterday, adding that the government will ensure landowners are paid for the land government acquires.
“The government, through compulsory acquisition, will acquire the land it needs to develop a runway of 6,500 feet,” he said.
Cargill, who spoke at The Counsellors Limited’s Long Island Business Outlook yesterday, said the government will need the land to extend the runway in order to accommodate international flights following the redevelopment of the airport.
According to Cargill, a hill will have to be cut down in order to extend the runway. The fill from the razing of that hill will be used to raise the runway in order to prevent flooding.
“If we’re building for the future, we’re building to ensure we have international flights directly into Long Island when the time comes and that’s the design concept for the airport,” Cargill said.
He added that the government is hoping to enter into a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement with a private entity to build and operate the airport, but will likely lump the PPP deal into a package that includes another airport in the country being developed.
He also explained that residents of Long Island and other Family Islands could find that the redeveloped airports become more expensive to utilize.
“Yes, it’s going to cost more to use the airport,” he said. He added that the PPP model requires revenue-building features be added to redeveloped airports.
Cargill also explained that the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation will have to do a better job at tracking tourism arrivals into Family Islands like Long Island, that do not have direct international flights.
He said only 1,400 international travelers passed through Long Island last year.
“We have very low numbers coming into Deadman’s Cay,” he said.
“Why invest all of this money in an airport when the numbers that travel are very low? We are building for the future, not for today.”