The Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) in Barbados is set to receive a $40.4m loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to upgrade its infrastructure and services.
Set to address ageing and weakening airside pavements at GAIA, the Grantley Adams International Airport Pavement Rehabilitation and Expansion Project will also support improved quality of infrastructure.
Additionally, the project will improve the airport’s institutional capacity and reduce energy consumption from pavement lighting.
CDB Projects director Daniel Best said: “Air transport is the principal mode of connectivity supporting the tourism sector, the main pillar of the Barbados economy. It is also vital to the international business sector, and most other sectors on which the livelihoods of the residents of Barbados depend.
“This project will support critical improvements at GAIA, boosting competitiveness of the tourism sector and the wider economy.”
The loan amount will also be used to construct a new apron to address the demand for improved capacity for corporate and other general aviation aircraft.
Additionally, existing edge lights and apron lights at GAIA will be replaced with light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures to minimise energy consumption and operational costs.
On the land side, the main car park parts and other roads will be rehabilitated or upgraded, which would aid the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles.
Best also noted the need for a Sustainability Management Plan at GAIA.
Best further added: “Having a Sustainability Management Plan will enhance the capacity of GAIA to plan its future development and operate its complex facilities in a manner consistent with recommended industry practice.
“We also note the potential of this plan to help GAIA better manage issues related to energy, water, wastewater, solid waste, noise, and air quality.”
GAIA will provide $17.3m to the project, which will be implemented through its Engineering Department and is scheduled to be rolled out over a period of approximately 26 months.