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Airport getting jet bridges

There will soon be adjustments to the Grantley Adams International Airport to increase the comfort level of arriving and departing passengers, including provision of “jet bridges” to protect persons from adverse weather.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy revealed last night this aspect of what he called a “master plan” as his ministry officials and Air Canada representatives celebrated 65 years of aviation connection between this island and Canada.

The Minister also indicated that the air transport capacity has been increased by half owing to Air Canada’s introduction of new and larger aircraft on the Canada-Barbados route.

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy

“We are in an advanced stage of designing adjustments to the terminal that will lead to the jet bridges,” Sealy said at Charles Fort, the Hilton. “Gone will be the days when if the rain is falling someone from the airport has to share out umbrellas as you descend a very treacherous stairwell to get down towards our terminal”.

“We are committed to enhancing the infrastructure at the airport and the seaport in order to make ourselves more competitive in terms of capacity and comfort in terms of those who are coming to our shores,” he said and added, “That will be done in the context of an airport master plan that will take into account all of the additional capacities that will be needed.”

Among the additional capacity needed by tourism authorities is a stepped-up ability to transfer those passengers arriving by air but bound for the Bridgetown Port to board cruise ships, along with “all the expected increases that we will have in airlift capacity, which of course will be led by Air Canada, as they continue to increase frequency”.

That expected increased frequency is favourably compounded by a jump in the number of seats aboard aircraft coming out of Canada.

“For the first time in a very long time we are going to see major increases with the advent of the Boeing 777 service into Barbados. It started the first day of this month and that new service will see approximately 50 per cent increase in seating capacity,” Sealy said.

Sealy told the gathering at a cocktail reception held for the airline company representatives and operators of its travel agency Air Canada Vacations that the Barbados Government had more than increased flight capacity as the Canadians have opted to take sole responsibility for insurance contingencies of passengers.

“Air Canada Vacations has assumed the risk on the Barbados route and that is, I understand, a first, and speaks volumes.”

Further, Sealy said he was pleased with arrangements to attract vacationers from farther parts of Canada.

“It [Air Canada Vacations] has also developed an integrated plan with the Sandals brand, and this I am told has the potential to support in the short to medium term introduction of a direct service to Barbados from Western Canada…that is of course music to our ears.”

21 Responses to Airport getting jet bridges

  1. Chris Hoyos
    Chris Hoyos December 11, 2014 at 8:20 am

    How about using the money to buy meds for the hospital instead???

  2. Sherwin Boyce
    Sherwin Boyce December 11, 2014 at 8:21 am

    But when?

  3. Jeffrey Fenty
    Jeffrey Fenty December 11, 2014 at 8:33 am

    But wouldn’t the departure lounge have to move to accommodate that? The departure hall is on ground level

  4. Carl Harper December 11, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Richard Sealy: “Gone will be the days when if the rain is falling someone from the airport has to share out umbrellas as you descend a very treacherous stairwell to get down towards our terminal”.

    How are we going to treat LIAT passengers as far as jet bridges are concern? LIAT represents the most frequent airline into and out of Barbados. Surely Caribbean nationals also deserve not to be soaked in the pouring rain.

    Are we going to have enough jet bridges for each international flight on the tarmac at the same time?

    How much is this redesign going to cost since jet bridges usually start at the upper-level floor and our departure lounges are on the ground floor? There is the passenger walkway in front of the departure and arrival halls. Looking forward to seeing the redesign that will further internationalize GAIA.

    Since Sealy is so concern about persons getting wet, when will GAIA have a covered multi-floor parking deck so that passengers and their families/friends can get to and from their vehicles without have to use umbrellas?

    One shortcoming at GAIA is that we did not properly utilize above-the-ground space for parking and roadway, inside the terminal, and the space to the east of the existing terminal. It is unfortunate that emergency response vehicles (police, ambulance, airport security) must park blocking one of two lanes, making it chaotic during peak periods such as Christmas and Crop Over.

    What about provision for moving walkways? If we’re moving forward, let’s go all the way.

    The arrival and departure halls need not be so choked up together in the redevelopment plan.

  5. Wolsley Grannum December 11, 2014 at 9:05 am

    It’s about time that the Grantley Adams Airport be outfitted with jet bridges. If the airport is an international airport then it has to have the amenities of one. Every time I come home to Barbados,I am annoyed that I have to desend those outdated stairways .

  6. Patrick Blackman December 11, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Shouldn’t this have been implemented from the start? Just don’t understand these crazy people… lol

  7. Samuel Dac Boyce December 11, 2014 at 11:43 am

    That is wonderful news, Mr. Minister.

  8. seagul December 11, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Congrats to this welcoming news. We need to crawl before we can walk. As a disabled traveller myself this is good for this growing community coming from the far corners of Europe. Especially after a nine hour journey this is great news for all travelers.

  9. Gail Wallace December 11, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Great news. Money doesn’t grown on trees in Barbados like it does in the U.S. Lot of places don’t have bridges. Including Cancun. Thankful for any progress.

    • Jason Hynds December 15, 2014 at 9:43 am

      I was in Cancún in May 2014 and there were jet bridges. I disembarked as well as embarked via boarding bridges.

      Form a web search it appears that around May 2007 a 3rd Terminal was opened that accommodates boarding bridges. The Wikipedia article on Cancún International Airport also has a photo of Terminal 3 showing the jet bridges.

  10. allison h December 11, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    i beg to differ jet bridges are not a necessity here . At this time in this economic climate this is a luxury. how often is it that we have adverse weather where a jet bridge would be required. Does anyone have an idea as to the cost of these bridges and the retrofitting that would need to be done. I don’t
    t think this should be undertaken at this time.

    • new December 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      Someone asking the cost for one jet bridge? Saint Vincent will be installing three Jet Bridges, and the cost for one is 8 hundred thousand $ US dollars…

  11. Jared December 11, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    It was my understanding how many odd years ago in the redevelopment that jet bridges were to be installed. There were even artist depictions at the airport. Additionally was this not the original reason for closing off the upstairs viewing area?They need to employ an architectural firm to do a feasibility and redesign study to foresee future issues. “The rain ain’t only now start falling”. Furthermore, in Miami, American eagle has covered walkways for its turboprop planes, a similar design can be employed, for liat. Incentives can be put in place to encourage liat to make Barbados its main hub if such an investment is made. The major point of entry to this country should be a shining jewel.

  12. Andrew B Carter December 11, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    this is long over due, I am an average traveller to this great island and many times I arrived in the rain and it’s terrible. I hope that many investors would jump on this. especially being a nine hour flight, this project would make a great difference and increase revenue at BGI, Bravo

  13. john leslie - walcott December 12, 2014 at 8:23 am

    You see here lies the problem, jet bridges were in the plan from the beginning but because yall people wanted to finish the airport so quickly(in the past), you left out the jet bridges plan so now it will cost more money to put them in now than in the past including them in the renovation of the new airport(which is the current airport structure)

  14. John Peters December 12, 2014 at 8:28 am

    I wonder how much jet bridges are being put in place because they are only three ”inside gates” for lack of a better word and the rest are outside

  15. Alex Currie December 12, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    It seems to me that Barbados has many fiscal challenges today. Why therefore does Mr. Sealy and his colleagues see spending here a priority when the QEH is starved for suppkies?
    As one who has been coming to Barbados since 1980 and now spend at least 10% of my life there, I see this as a retrograde step. So sad.
    One of the unique concepts of Caribbean travel and particularly Barbados is airports are NOT as they are in Canada, the US or other major countries. It is a wonderful feeling after several months of anticipation of returning to Barbados and the flight from Toronto to get off the plane and stand in the the breeze on the top step at GAIA and smell the sea.
    Adding jetways will take this wonderful experience – which never gets old – away.
    In all the years of travel I could count the incidences of wet arrival or departure on one hand. Certainly I don’t fly in during the rainy season but statistically Mr. Sealy, how many people have fallen due to a slip on the stairs? What other alternatives such as non-slip expanded metal plates as we used in our factories have been evaluated?
    Not the best move in my view.

  16. Alex Currie December 12, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    The question was asked about cost of these things.
    Stapleton Airport in Denverin 2002 budgeted $20 million USD ($40 million BDS) for replacement of 68 jetways that were just 7 years old. That wa $294,000 each then and is likely closer to $400,000 now.
    What you must keep in mind is a) Denver had all the related connection points, electricity etc. in place. GAIA does not and b) if these things only lasted 7 yr in Denver which is very hot and dry in the summer and very cold and dry in the winter how long does Mr. Sealy expect them to last in the salt air and humidity of GAIA?

  17. Roderick Rock December 12, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    I’ve seen most of the comments here and it seems to me that adding jet bridges can be a good thing but a bad thing at the same time.
    My question is if these things were to be built how would they build them if the airport is in active service all year round and when will they build them.
    Another thing if you all want to spend money on the airport usefully you cant put glass and/or sliding doors to cover the check-in area so that when the rain falls no one is soaked and tint so the sun wouldn’t be beating down on you.

  18. Michelle Hay December 13, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I fly home toBim several times a year and for the most part have accepted that fact that if I travel by myself, I have to either have a very light carry-on or none at all. But now that I’m traveling home with grand babies….well that’s a whole new set of problems. Try carrying a baby on one hip, a carry on bag (for the baby) over one shoulder, a car seat (for the babie’s safety while on the plane), and a personal handbag. Try going up and down those stairs with all that and just so you know, never once has anyone offered to help. What about the staff who have to lift wheelchair passengers up and down those steps….

    I understand the cost ramifications, but Barbados can’t stand still, and let’s face it, has it ever? It’s a necessity on many levels and I’m sure if enough thought and planning went into it could be done with as little inconvenience to locals and travelers, and economically.
    Okay. That’s my two cents worth.

  19. J. Payne December 14, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Would be smart if a third floor on the airport could handle a monorail to Bridgetown via the ABC highway. That would be ideal for the cruise industry IF they could split the cost on such a venture… Look at Australia as an example of how you can integrate monorail above street level and have it be hidden from sight. Hotels along the route could (if they want) pay to have a station on their property. That would be the best we to get it paid for all along the route.


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