Further Expansion Is In The Works For The Grantley Adams International Airport
Friday, 05 October 2007
Acting Minister of Tourism, Senator Rudy Grant, says the managing company GAIA Incorporated will shortly be requesting proposals for the work. This comes after a recent 150 million-dollar upgrade. Mr. Grant says the departure terminal is one of the areas which need to be expanded. He says this became necessary to increase capacity so soon after the recent upgrade, because of a study by UK firm British Aerospace, which underestimated the growth of passenger traffic in Barbados.
Barbadians reading the newspaper and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) blog this weekend would have witnessed, for the first time, the BLP mouthpiece recognizing the existence of Barbados Underground (BU) and Barbados Free Press (BFP). Although we don’t agree with their assessment about the role which BU is playing to bring information to the Barbadians, and this can be easily verified by examining our articles, we respect their right to defend their opinion. We are sorry to disappoint the team over at the BLP again because this article will be critical of how the government has managed the expansion at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA).
Like many Barbadians and visitors alike, we have passed through the GAIA on our travels and we have been impressed by the transformation in the appearance of our lone airport. We have supported the government on the need to make our airport a world-class facility because of our dependence on tourism. (According to recent Central Bank reports, tourism account for 75% of our GDP.) The beef we have with the government has been the mismanagement of many projects undertaken in its 13 years in office. It leaves us speechless that we would have spent a reported 150 millions to spruce-up the GAIA to make it a world-class facility, and 2 years later we have to sink even more taxpayers dollars making improvements to the same project. The situation begs the question: who did the planning to support the 150 million dollar project in the first place? We are aware that although the GAIA has an international appearance, it leaks when rain falls and the much debated air-bridges are waiting to be installed. (That is a another discussion.)
How could Barbados have underestimated the growth in passenger traffic at the GAIA considering the short period between the expansion and now? Our best recollection and research suggest that tourism arrivals to Barbados has been gradual; no dramatic increases of which we are aware. Common sense suggests that with room plant in Barbados at a plateau for the last few years, we are at a lost to explain what could it be that is responsible for the growth in passenger traffic in Barbados to suggest more improvement at the GAIA. The LIAT and Air Jamaica hubs remain in Antigua and Jamaica respectively. Could it be that the BLP has plans in the pipeline to shift the LIAT hub to Barbados? If this is the case would it not be good sense to let Barbadians and Antiguans know now? This is BU musing early on a Sunday morning!
Ok cut…how much will this next project cost us Rudy?
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‘because of a study by UK firm, British Aerospace which underestimated the growth of passenger traffic in Barbados’.
When exactly did this study take place?
As I understand the company changed its name from British Aerospace to BAE Systems as long ago as 1999.
So perhaps the Senator could explain ANY other reasons.
Please also update the taxpayer on the state of the promised improved radar system where EU funds have been approved and what has become of the RACAL Flight Simulator for Air Traffic Control.
Is this still working?
This upgrade has long been spoken of. It appears that in the intial plans they omitted the inclusion of bridges to go out to the planes for passengers to embark and disembark
anon~if you read carefully the statement by Rudy Grant provided in the quote above you will come to the same conclusion we have i.e. this is not about the air bridges but more about expanding the departure area etc.