Kellman wants airport critics to see ‘bigger picture’
Member of Parliament for St Lucy Denis Kellman is standing by his longstanding call for a second airport to be located in his constituency.
Kellman repeated his call Monday in an interview with Barbados TODAY as several members of his constituency contended that instead of making a call for an airport in Barbados’ northernmost parish he should concentrate on upgrading the road network in the constituency.
Reacting to comments attributed to Barbados Labour Party candidate for the area Peter Phillips, Kellman pointed out that not only the roads would improve with the construction of an airport, but the entire infrastructure in the parish.
“You have to learn to see the bigger picture and not the smaller one. You do not oppose just for the sake of opposing when it comes to development of the country. You cannot be asking for development and when you bring projects that bring development you knock them down,” Kellman said in response to Phillips.
The outspoken parliamentarian noted that wherever you go in the world today governments are either building new airports or expanding them to generate business.
According to him, an airport, like a health institution, is never “a stand alone project”, but attracts infrastructural improvements in its environs.
He also made it clear that he was not the person who came up with the idea, but the late Right Excellent Errol Barrow, who bought the land at Friendship, Spring Hall and The Hope for the construction of an airport.
He insisted that there was a need for another airport, explaining that if an aircraft develops a problem while on its way to Barbados it may have to be diverted and with an airport in the north, it would be able to find a safe haven. Kellman also suggested that a second airport would assist in generating business for the island.
His comments come against the backdrop of suggestions by some in his constituency that more attention should be paid to the upgrading of the parish’s road network. Among them, Harmony Hall, St Lucy, resident Roger Feliciano who said in an interview last month, he had a difficult time understanding why the Democratic Labour Party administration would even consider such a facility when roads in the constituency were in such a terrible state. Similar sentiments were shared by Hugh Babb of Checker Hall who stressed that now was not the time to spend money on an airport.
In leading off debate in the House of Assembly on the Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy had revealed that “serious approaches” had been made by at least two interests- one local and the other international- regarding the construction of an airport in the north of the island.
At that time, Sealy told the House of Assembly that St Lucy had been identified as an ideal location for the airport.