P.M. Browne Did The Honourable Thing
By Makeda Mikael
Whether he recused himself or removed himself, the Prime Minister was correct in absenting himself from the Cabinet where Antigua Hangars Inc. presented its development plans for its property at Runway 10.
Interest is not only a consideration of property or business, it could be just personal conflict, and on 108 sq. Miles and 100,000 persons, where everyone knows everybody’s business, we all know that the P.M. & MM have ‘a thing going on!’
It was honourable to allow the Cabinet to do its work without unnecessary tension., and for the business invitees to feel at ease in their deliberations.
This is merely a distraction from the initiative made public by the Government on July 28 2023, of its plan to reacquire lands at Runway 10, and the proposals make by the current owner, who agree with Government that all airport lands be restored to original footprint prior to original sale.
That the plans of the owner submitted to the Cabinet, and explanations posted in a Press Release, is in no way contrary to marketing business proposals in the past especially, where Government oversight is a demand.
That Antigua Hangars Inc. proposed the choice spot be operated by Barbuda FBO Support, with hangars for the corporate and private aircraft dropping off and picking up in Barbuda.
Additionally, the much touted Maintenance Repair & Overhaul Hangars is also provided for in the development plan, and recognized as in great demand for LIAT (rebooted) and the new accumulation of aircraft in the Caribbean.
Finally a private investment package of land – a platform for OECS & other Caribbean Private investors to raise a private sector investment package in the new LIAT, whereby business people can assist Governments to run a profitable and competent regional airline.
Like expatriate business proposals before the Government, local investors are entitled to a receptive audience, which Antigua Hangars Inc. was given by the Cabinet Members, where their questions were answered.
However, local investors are expected to promote themselves, as there are no invitations to explain to the public what impact their development will have on the economy; the jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities; and, especially in government controlled spaces.
Antigua Hangars Inc. not being present for the debate or discussion by Cabinet members, could not report on anything which could be considered a breach by someone not sworn to Cabinet secrecy.
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