Government to Acquire Lands to Improve Airport Security

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

By Zaya Williams


The Gaston Browne-led administration of Antigua and Barbuda has announced its intention to acquire all lands within the boundaries of the VC Bird International Airport in a bid to enhance the country’s border security.

This decision comes in response to what has been described as “ongoing airport security breaches caused by the operation of a hangar at Runway 10.” Discussions with the principals of Signature Flight Support, which operates near the affected Runway 10 area, have also influenced the government’s decision.

The Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, during yesterday’s Cabinet media briefing, shed light on the perceived breaches and emphasized the urgency of addressing them.

He stated that individuals have “Apparently one can enter into one of the hangers and from the hanger enter the compound of the airport and that should not happen. And this is one of the examinations coming from an examination of security at the airport generally so we are trying to fix that because it’s a beach of our responsibility under the [International Civil Airports Association] ICAA arrangements.”

To tackle this security concern, the government plans to acquire the lands to secure the airport perimeter effectively.

While there is no specific timeline for the acquisition, the administration is determined to expedite the process compared to previous similar cases. The Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff expressed the government’s commitment to ensuring swift payment to property owners affected by the acquisition.

“In the past, when we have exercised eminent domain and taken property, we have sometimes been very slow in paying the owners for these properties. We have decided in this case we are going to have the money in hand,” the Chief of Staff explained.

He further stated that evaluations of the properties to be acquired will be conducted to ensure the government has the necessary resources to promptly compensate the affected landowners.

However, no concrete timeframe has been provided yet, Nevertheless, the government is committed to taking swift action to address the airport security concerns and uphold its responsibilities within the ICAA arrangements.


  1. Anonymous

    These were all crown lands. They were bought long ago with taxpayers scarce resources under V. C. Bird. Why were they sold in the first place? We never learn. Where there is no vision the people perish. So, we are going to buy them all over again, the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer.

  2. Mae

    These lands should have been on a lease agreement from the beginning. Now, these lands were sold for less than the actual market value back then, now we the taxpayers will be paying a hefty cost to regain those lands. I am for one that always believes in leasing government lands for any investment or business operations.

    • Concerned Aviator

      Antigua is the only place in the world that sells airport lands to private sector operators. Airports seek to expand their lands in expectation of changes in aircraft expectations. Further Antigua fails to obey the international Rules which require those lands to be fenced off the restricted area. Plus Signature accesses private lands with passengers and bags trespassing onto the ramp without even leaving their cars or inspecting bags which go directly onto the plane.
      That entire area is a giant security risk.


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