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‘Real cost of airport is $1.4bn’

Larry Burchall: opposed to airport project

Political commentators Craig Mayor and Larry Burchall have published an 11-page report/analysis outlining the reasons why the Government should not go ahead with their controversial airport project.

The pair provided facts and figures to suggest that the Government had misinformed the public about the financial implications of the project.

“The terminal that Government says will cost $540 million to build and operate over 30 years will, in fact, cost just under $1.4 billion or 2.5 times Government’s estimated cost,” they said.

“Therefore, with a cost understatement of $810 million, all of Government’s financial analysis to justify the cost, business case, and economics is totally invalid.

“It makes no financial sense to pay $1.4 billion to build, finance, operate and maintain an AT, which Government purports will cost $267 million to construct.

“Under this scenario, Project Co will receive $1,083 million for financing, operating and maintaining the terminal, which is four times the construction cost of $267 million.”

Mr Mayor and Mr Burchall believe the project “must be stopped immediately pending an independent investigation of the true costs and economic viability”.

“Given the enormity of the error in Government’s costing of the project and the substantial demonstrations on Friday, December 2, it is in the best interests of the country for the Auditor-General to give an opinion on the $810 million cost understatement, and to do so as soon as possible.” adds the report.

“If confirmed, this should prevent further and continued waste of Government expenditure, suspend social unrest, and allow Government to focus on other issues.

“At $1.4 billion, and with only a short and small 40-month economic stimulus impact on Bermuda’s GDP and small and vague promises of employment for Bermudians, it is difficult to imagine how this project, as currently planned, can ever be justified.”

The report has already been presented to all MPs, the Auditor-General, and Acting Governor.