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  • Isla Grande airport closing

    PIP asks for alternative to Isla Grande airport closing

    Sunday, March 2nd, 2003.

    SAN JUAN (AP)
    – Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) Rep. Victor Garcia San Inocencio asked Gov. Sila Calderon to seek alternatives to the projected closing of the Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport in Isla Grande, such as modernizing it.

    He estimated Saturday that the cost of updating these port installations would cost some $23.7 million, compared to the more than $137 million it would take to build a new airport in another place.

    The governor reiterated Friday that the plans to move the airport continue, but she clarified that this is not an immediate project, but one of long-term.

    Garcia San Inocencio said this facility "is vital" for the proposed Convention District, propelled by the Calderon administration.

    In a letter he sent to the governor Saturday, the legislator reviewed a study prepared by the Ports Authority Jan. 22, 2002, that detailed that among other conclusions, that the airport "is the main general transportation center of the island in terms of business trips."

    According to the study mentioned by the representative in his letter, the airport has more than 1,160 employees and transport an average of 60,000 passengers annually, as well as 800,000 pounds of cargo.

    The study also reports that the airport is frequented by inhabitants of the island municipalities and the Lesser Antilles, houses entities like the InterAmerican University Aerial Sciences Campus and the Rapid Action Joint Forces, and contributes almost $2 million to the municipal treasury annually.

    According to Calderon’s plans, the projected Convention District in Isla Grande will have two hotels, office buildings, housing apartments, and entertainment areas such as movie theaters, retail, passive parks, and restaurants.
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