Above: SVG Argyle Airport earlier in construction
When will Barbados Grantley Adams Airport receive Category One status?
2008 according to the government!
I make no apologies of staying with the subject of implementation or rather the lack of it this week, as I feel it remains the single biggest impediment in returning our tourism industry to viability and restoring previous levels of long stay visitor arrivals.
What prompted these latest thoughts was scanning through various media coverage quoting several named Government officials and politicians, who stated that by the end of the year Grantley Adams International Airport would receive Category One status. The trouble being is that the press articles referred to were printed in 2007.
Here we are six years later with the same proclamations being made in the same publications.
Of course, it’s not just the aviation issue but the much vaunted Tourism Master Plan, the restructuring or the Barbados Tourism Authority, an all-embracing Hotel Refurbishment Fund and so on and on.
According to the organisation charged with the responsibility of making the new St. Vincent and the Grenadines airport a reality, the International Airport Development Company (IADC), ‘the new Argyle Airport is expected to come operational in 2014’. Here we are just months away from opening and I wonder what impact, especially financially, it will have on any plans there may be for our own airport (GAIA Inc.).
“How much longer can we go on watching the world, or in this case our regional competitors, pass us by?”
Already GAIA Inc. has been negatively effected with reduced passenger arrivals and the use of smaller aircraft into Barbados, resulting in diminishing revenue generation: not only directly but for it’s tenants, concessions and service providers. Direct flights into Argyle, a reduction of double-drop flights to our neighbours and a dramatic fall in available airline seats to Barbados will further detrimentally add to this. Continue reading