The two year old government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has approved a letter of intent for the establishment of the first ever Pilot Academy in Grenada.
According to Deputy Prime Minister, Elvin Nimrod, the academy will be situated at the old Pearl’s airstrip in St Andrew, the home of the island’s first Airport and will prepare persons interested and involved in Aircraft Manufacturing, Skills Maintenance and Pilot Services.
Speaking to reporters at the weekly post-Cabinet Press Briefing held at the Ministerial Complex, Nimrod, the member of Parliament for Carriacou & Petite Martinique announced that a committee has been set up to guide the process of the work needed to establish the academy.
He said there are four parties involved in the initiative – Grenada, University of the West Indies (UWI), College of Technology in New York and the Government Institute of Science and Technology of Ireland.
He raised the hopes of residents in the area that there would be many advantages coming to St Andrew as a result of the proposed project.
“This is early days still because they are just now working together and … the letter of intent does not bind any of the parties or run a legal obligation of financial obligation. As a matter of fact, any of the parties can withdraw but it is a dream I believe that is ready to be realized and that would transform Grenada in many ways, not only in terms of aviation but again continue to put Grenada on the map”, he said.
“I believe that the external communities are just so well pleased and impressed with this progress that of course they’re willing to enter into partnership which in the end we hope that Grenada will be the chief beneficiary”, he added.
THE NEW TODAY newspaper spoke with Deputy Political Leader of the main opposition, National Democratic Congress (NDC), Joseph Andall who expressed skepticism towards the pilot project.
Andall said something of this nature, if it comes to fruition would be welcomed but pronouncements like these from the NNP should be looked at rather cautiously by Grenadians as he cited several other promised projects that are yet to be started by the Mitchell-led regime.
“This is the same NNP which post-manifesto stated that within the first year of being in office they will initiate 6 major private sector developments in the Tourism and Hospitality sectors”, he told this newspaper.
“…We are now well into the third year and absolutely nothing has gone off the ground. We know that on two occasions they have send Bulldozers and Bobcats and whatever to stir up sights and second time they fenced round and so on and it is my understanding that they have given an undertaking that work on one of the projects, I think it was the Silver Sands should have begun by the 15th of April 2015,” he said.
According to Andall if the Silver Sands hotel project materialises, it could help to bring a turn around in the unemployment situation in the country but noted that promises from the NNP usually turns up empty.
“The NNP has a history of making these big promises and even when they know that the promises are unrealistic they keep making them because they count on what they believe to be the short memory of Grenadians. They promised something and there is a big hoorah about it and it dies down and a few months later when people see nothing happening and people start to talk and complain about it…”, he said.
“They (NNP) have a press conference (and announce) that in three months something will happen and they keep doing that over and over until we will get to the point where there is a general election and I guarantee you that all of these fancy projects will in course begin,” he added.
Andall accused the NNP administration of giving the impression that it lacks a coherent plan for national development and as such it is making it difficult for anyone to believe it when it comes to projects.