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Jun 15, 2018

Another Airport on Ambergris Caye?

Manuel Heredia Jr.

On Thursday, the Diario de Quintana Roo in Chetumal quoted the Honorary Consulate of Belize in Quintana Roo, saying that the construction of the international airport in San Pedro has been given the green light and all that is left, is a date for works to begin. That piece of information, says the Mexican newspaper, came from Luis Maldonado, the honorary consul. So while there is a new agreement between COPA Airlines and Tropic Air, is there competing interest on the part of government in supporting this partnership? G.O.B., it is known, has also shown support for the Basil Jones International Airport in north San Pedro. So essentially, if the multimillion-dollar project is to go ahead, the new agreement with the local airline becomes moot.  Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Manuel Heredia Junior says not so fast.

 

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism

“Under the present agreement with P.G.I.A., any existing airline that is flying, you cannot divert to any other airport in Belize; otherwise, we will be liable and can be taken to court. This airport that we are doing is to one, to have European charters coming to Belize, to have private aircrafts and then later on we will see if there is the possibilities of new destinations coming to Belize. I think you’ve heard with the previous administration that Lufthansa should have been the ones running this airport. Lufthansa, as soon as they heard about the possibilities of building an airport, has approached this company already, you know. That they want to know a little more and they have that interest to flying there. So that opens the door to other carriers; that is our interest to see new carriers. What we want is if we are doing almost four hundred thousand, within the next five years, we want to double that amount. And that can only happen if there is an alternative airport that can bring additional carriers to this airport—not taking away anything from Tropic or Maya nor from the P.G.I.A.; and legally, we cannot do it.”

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