The Placencia Municipal Airport was officially declared open today by the Minister of Civil Aviation Andre Perez. The facility as we reported this week was refurbished at a cost of three point seven million dollars and will now be accommodating night flights as well as medical evacuation flights that were not feasible with its previous structure and setup. A special ceremony was held today on the peninsula with Minister Perez explaining the benefits of this project.
Andre Perez, Minister of Civil Aviation: “It is a fact that Belize is no longer nature’s best kept secret but an indication that our country is becoming a preferred travel destination for the world. The Belize Airports Authority 2020-2023 strategic plan facilities and service improvement has an integral element to supporting and proactively responding to market demands. The renovation of the Placencia Municipal Airport supports one of the core strategic goals of the Belize Airports Authority and responds to the projected growth of passenger traffic at the domestic airports. Of course we are fully cognizant that the past months have been especially difficult for the community of Placencia and the aviation industry due to COVID travel restrictions and a decrease in numbers of persons visiting our country. The domestic passenger movement has however remained consistent as in 2019 this sector totalled 35,695 passengers. I can say that the statistics are motivating as we see upward trend in the passenger movement at this aerodrome. With the renovations and relaxation of travel restrictions and newly implemented Gold Standard Policy we are expecting a similar upward trend in air traffic when the Placencia Airport resumes operation. With it’s new modern features the new Placencia airport positions us to continue riding the growth of tourism and indeed air transportation and business sectors. Undoubtedly this new municipal airport will serve as a hub point for the peninsula to promote further development, enhance the connectivity nationally and provide a safe and satisfactory travel experience to the public. It will play an important role for the stability and prosperity for the community on a whole. It gives me great honor to declare the Placencia Municipal Airport officially opened.
Present at the official opening was the Area Representative Rodwell Ferguson who explained what he believes this will do for his constituents and the tourism industry.
Rodwell Ferguson, Area Representative: “It’s a major accomplishment. I don’t see it affecting but complementing the development of the area. Placencia is the number one destination of tourism in the Stann Creek district on a whole and this will definitely bring more activities and once it brings more activities it will put more monies in the pocket and so I believe that the entire peninsula should appreciate a project of this magnitude. Even though it was started under the previous government I think they saw the initiative, they saw the goal and the objective for it to be done so I want to applaud them for their efforts and now we are here to do the inauguration to continue it’s not to start but to continue for the betterment of the people so I support it a hundred percent.”
Ilsa Villanueva is the Chairlady for the Placencia peninsula. In speaking with the media she noted that many years ago the area was an airfield with no amenities or structure. Today she expressed satisfaction at seeing the progress in the village.
Isla Villanueva, Chairlady, Placencia Peninsula: “The villagers of Placencia, I should say the whole peninsula is in awe because they’ve waited a long time for this. One reason is that many times they have complained that late flights as well as always having to travel coming in or they stay have to stay in Belize City because so definitely the increase in overnight tourism will be great for us whenever we get out of COVID pandemic but it’s going to be huge.”