Hewanorra International Airport (IATA: UVF) is the bigger of the two airports located in Saint Lucia. Situated near Vieux Fort, approximately 53km away from the capital city Castries, the airport serves as the major gateway to Saint Lucia for foreign tourists.
The airport is managed and operated by the Saint Lucia Air and Seaports Authority (SLASPA). It handled 529,371 passengers and 1,441t of cargo in 2017. It also witnessed the movement of 12,668 aircraft in 2017.
The growing demand for air transportation forced the airport authorities to revamp the existing infrastructure and redevelop the airport in accordance with the demand forecast. The proposed redevelopment aims to improve the services offered to passengers, which is expected to result in attracting more tourists to the country.
Construction on the project is expected to begin by the end of 2018.
The airport was established by the United States Army Air Forces in 1941, then known as Beane Army Airfield. It was used by the air forces to protect Saint Lucia from enemy attacks during World War II. The airbase was later revamped into a commercial airport and was renamed Hewanorra International Airport.
The airport has a single terminal used for both domestic and international operations. It features an asphalt-surfaced runway, which is 2,744m-long and 45m-wide, accommodating small and medium-sized aircraft.
An agreement was signed between SLSPA, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the government authorities to shortlist private sector operators for the operation and development of the Hewanorra International Airport under a long-term concession agreement in May 2015.
IFC was responsible for the structuring and implementation of the redevelopment project, while SLSPA was responsible for providing contract administration during the concession term. However, the agreement was cancelled by the new government in September 2017.
Heery International was contracted to create a master plan for the airport redevelopment. Heery is also responsible for the new terminal building design.
The master plan focuses on the all-round development of the airport over a 30-year period. The transport management facilities at the airport will be modernised and state-of-art design techniques will be used for the redevelopment.
The existing terminal building will be expanded and a brand-new terminal will be constructed adjacent to it as part of the redevelopment.
The new terminal will be a fixed-base operation facility featuring an open air ticketing system. It will be equipped with a state-of-the-art ventilation system to allow maximum natural light into the interiors.
Concourses, restaurants and other commercial spaces will be featured at the new terminal. The departure lounge will have an executive club lounge and a VIP lounge.
The new terminal complex will extend over an area of 280,000ft² and its airside facilities will have the capacity to accommodate Boeing 737, 747, 757 and A300 aircraft.
The existing cargo facilities will be shifted and a new control tower will be built to accommodate training rooms, an employee lounge and conference rooms. The runway will be extended to accommodate A380 aircraft.
The redevelopment of Hewanorra international airport is expected to require an estimated investment of $157m. The project was declared to have received full financing in August 2017.
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