Airport expansion on the cards

Major expansion work is in store for the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA), as the island prepares to welcome more airlift.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy made the disclosure as he welcomed JetBlue’s inaugural direct flight out of Fort Lauderdale on Thursday.

In terms of the expansion work, Sealy said provision would be made for jet bridges linking aircraft to the airport terminal.

However he did not reveal the total cost of the project, even though he said loan financing would be provided by the Export-Import Bank of China similar to that being provided for the US$200 million Sam Lord’s Castle re-development project in St Philip.

“As you know, home porting has been going up, so the air/sea transfer element also requires certain work to be done and we are in the process of doing that.

“We are hoping that all of the particulars can be in place by the end of the year to make formal application to the EXIM Bank in general,” Sealy told the gathering which included tourism officials from Bridgetown and Florida, as well as other dignitaries.

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy
Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy

He also suggested that 2016 could turn out to be another record year for the island based on his expectation that overall seat capacity could grow by as much as 25 per cent.

“We are working with JetBlue to make sure that this flight can function in both directions. In 2015, we saw some incredible increases over 2014 and it is clear, based on how the year has started and now with the additional 1,000 seats per week we are getting from Fort Lauderdale, 2016 will increase on 2015.

“We are starting to realize the amount of potential we have always had and that also has a lot to do with this [JetBlue] relationship,” he added.

Last year, the island reported a 13.7 per cent increase in long-stay arrivals, which amounted to a record 591,892 tourists.

Based on recent meetings with top officials of Air Canada, Sealy said the island would soon be benefitting from increased airlift out of Toronto and Montreal. He also noted that Virgin Atlantic was committed to adding additional capacity out of the United Kingdom, and there are plans to shift some of LIAT’s hub activity to Barbados.

“We have been seeing increase out of Trinidad and we want to have more regional tourists come in, so we are working on a number of things in that regard,” he added.

4 Responses to Airport expansion on the cards

  1. Sheldon Cox
    Sheldon Cox April 30, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I wonder if them fix de leaking part of the departure area already cause someone can break them neck when the rain falls inside that place

  2. Tête La
    Tête La April 30, 2016 at 5:30 pm


  3. leroy May 1, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Aint happening,,we dont have the numbers for that, increased arrivals but no spend, whats it called? Air to sea,,they could might aswell let de passengers parachute from plane to boat bc these numbers dont have a footprint on land.

    We really need the jetbridges,we dont need 12,, 6 bridges will do, make all departures on first floor for bridges and arrivals will proceed down to ground floor for arrival hall. Its quite simple. All the foolish canopy dismantle and create 2/3 levels.

    Arrival hall needs securing from the bag collection area more.
    On exit they need one lane to which I can pay instead of me walking to paybooth.

  4. Sue Donym May 1, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Did we not just go through Estimates? If these ‘particulars’ are to be in place by year end, should the cost not be in the current period disclosures? Why was it not revealed or is this to be another urgent but absolutely necessary supplemental – which will then be passed off as unavoidable national security provisions?

    Do I understand that the planners/marketers only now working out how to get the JetBlue flights to ‘function in both directions’? Tell me this is a reporting error and that our big shots haven’t just caught on that this is how planes work!

    Is it any wonder the official financial/economic forecasts never come acceptably close to reality? I see another high-interest short term loan in our (very near) future – so that we can meet the conditions to have the eventual loan. No surprise that the deficit is widening phenomenally!


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