La Isabela Airport Could Open in Dec

El Caribe newspaper reports that the Aeropuerto Internacional La Isabela (AILI), currently under construction in El Higuero, north of Santo Domingo, could be ready in time for winter’s peak traffic. The government has invested RD$1.04 billion in the terminal, which is almost double the amount the private sector spent to build the Santiago or La Romana airport terminals. Reportedly, the Fernandez administration invested RD$600-million in the construction of the terminal, but Aerodom reports having had to invest an additional US$22-million, or RD$440-million.

Aerodom, which also operates the Las Americas (Santo Domingo) and Gregorio Luperon (Puerto Plata) airports, will manage the newest facility, slated to replace the Herrera International Airport located in the center of Santo Domingo. Aerodom says it expects the airport to be operational by 15-20 December. The La Isabela terminal was criticized by small airplane companies, saying it is too far north of Santo Domingo to become a prevalent and popular terminal.

El Caribe reports that a press release from the Ministry of Public Works says that 95% of construction has been completed. But the supervisor for Aerodom, Holando Gesualdo, said that only 80% of the construction is finished. He said that the building is almost completed, the air-conditioning systems have been installed, but important equipment has yet to be installed in the control tower. He said the runway still needs additional pavings of asphalt and work needs to be done on the airport ramps. The parking lot of the airport, which will have a 1,000-vehicle capacity, is also in need of further construction. The airport will have a runway that will be 1,600 meters long. He explained this means it will be able to receive small planes of up to ATR of 70 passengers, offering more facilities than those available at Herrera at present. He said the airport was designed for medium sized airplanes and private jets. Likewise, an Aerodom affiliate company, Civilcad, is responsible for building the five-kilometer accessway from Avenida Jacobo Majluta. The Avenida Jacobo Majluta is the most costly highway ever built in the Dominican Republic and is also in need of repairs.