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Dubai Airport to build new Seychelles International Airport?

Dubai Airport to build new Seychelles International Airport?

Christopher Gill, a private sector tourism operator writes: Recently, it was announced from Dubai that Dubai Airports was to build the new Seychelles International Airport. In Seychelles, the matter was pretty much silent.

Consequently, the LDS Opposition called in the new Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mr. Alain St.Ange, to reply to questions on the veracity of this agreement. St. Ange seemed to be playing catch up on the question.

Welcome Dubai Airports to Seychelles

The announcement of Dubai Airports Seychelles project should be welcomed by Seychelles. It is a golden opportunity that will cement Seychelles’ tourism industry, with a serious partner who has earned the reputation as delivering “The Best International Airport Experience in The World.” Dubai leads the world in airport technology and know-how. Dubai has become the envy of the United States in airport infrastructure, to the point that Donald Trump, President elect, has said UAE has run circles around America in this field.

Negotiate a solid lease

Seychelles should negotiate a serious lease with Dubai International. This should include new terminals, double run ways, deadline for non-performance, guaranteed lease payments, heavy penalties for delayed construction, preferential rates for Air Seychelles, and reserved duty free shop space for local business and other concessions.

The lease should be for 25 years. Thereafter, the airport shall be handed over to Seychelles government, or lease renegotiated. The deal is a no brainer and all parties should support it. Why?

We are bankrupt

We are bankrupt; that is why we should all support this project. Seychelles does not have the money needed – $400 million – to build a new airport. Mauritius had the PRC build their new airport, and Mauritius is booming today, while we are falling behind, bickering over nonsense, and allowing half-witted politicians to make the call, without considering the consequences of the call. If we do not make a serious deal on the international airport now, we will condemn another generation of Seychellois to poverty, who will join the 49% already listed there, under the GENIE INDEX.

Take revenues out of the hands of the corrupt

Another advantage of a lease agreement with Dubai Airports, is we will remove once and for all the corrupted elements of the good old boys, scamming revenues and opportunities for themselves at the expense of the nation. Targets need to be set that the lessee will have to meet, and give guarantees. It’s a no-brainer.

If Dubai does not build the airport, our other option is a refurbishment financed by New Delhi… but do not expect a new roof, just some fresh paint.

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