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Barbados Announces Airport Expansion Master Plan

by Amanda Banks,, London

21 December 2012

Barbados's Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, has announced that the government has finalized a Master Plan to guide the long-term development of the island's airport, the Grantley Adams International Airport, to establish it as "the preferred connection for passengers and cargo distribution in the Caribbean."

An immediate priority for the government is the development of the necessary infrastructure to accept increased private aircraft arrivals."We have found that there is an increasing demand for ramp space for private aircraft owned or leased by our annual high-end visitors who predominantly stay along our west coast. Space must be provided for these aircraft," the Minister stated. This will involve the development of additional ramp space.

According to the Minister, the plans to enlarge the airport's capacity will complement the growth of the local cruise industry. Under the fly/cruise program, the government will encourage arrivals by air of individuals seeking to undertake cruises originating from the territory.

In the past decade, the government has invested USD100m in a new arrivals hall, establishing a second terminal adjacent to the existing facilities. Presently, the airport is expected to be able to satisfy passenger demand until 2015, when further expansion is envisaged.

For the cargo sector, the Master Plan envisages the renovation of the island's 40-year old cargo facilities to bring them up to international standards. An extension to the taxiway will enable multiple aircraft to load and offload cargo, cutting operational costs and improving the airport's competitiveness.

Grantley Adams Airport, situated at the south of the island, is the main air-transportation hub for the Eastern Caribbean region, and was the 9th busiest airport in the Caribbean region in 2011.

TAGS: aviation

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