Roseau, Dominica – April 3, 2008………The Government of Dominica will host a farewell ceremony on Friday, April 4, 2008 in honour of the Venezuelan Army Technical Mission engaged on the Melville Hall Airport project.
The work of the 6th Corp of Engineers from the Venezuelan Army at the Melville Hall Airport commenced in 2005. This was a fulfilment of a commitment from the Venezuelan government to contribute US$10 million in grant financing towards the upgrade and improvement of the Melville Hall Airport.
The scope of the contribution was for:
· Movement of earth
· The expansion of the airport security area through the provision and installation of fencing for the airport
· Changing the course of the Melville Hall river
· The removal of obstructions on the northern side of the runway and the provision of coastal defences to the eastern end of the extended runway safety area
The project was a challenging one due a range of factors, including difficult earth terrain, high rainfall and resource constraints. However the Venezuelan Army Technical Mission worked steadfastly for very long hours, including weekends and holidays to ensure completion of the mission in reasonable time.
On the western end, the excavation of the extended runway area is virtually complete and the river has been diverted to allow for the creation of the western Reserve End Safety Area (RESA). Some shelving of the hillside on the northern flank has also been undertaken. Together with the sea reclamation works on the eastern end the work of the mission sets the stage for the commencement of the runway surfacing and lighting component of the project.
This phase of the project is to be undertaken by the French firm, COLAS and is expected to start in June, 2008.
The Melville Hall Air Access Improvement Project comprises six components defined along bid packages. The project is being financed by the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the European Commission.
The 6th Army Corp of Engineers is expected to leave Dominica by mid-April, 2008.
President of Dominica, His Excellency, Dr. Nicholas Liverpool, Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Ambrose George, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ambassador Francisco Arias Cardenas, Minister for Tourism, Olga Azuaje, Minister for Infrastructure, Isidro Rondon, members of Cabinet and Venezuela’s Ambassador to Dominica, Her Excellency, Carmen Martinez de Grijalva are all expected to be present at the farewell ceremony.
The farewell reception is expected to be carried live by DBS radio and Kairi FM.