The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) on Thursday approved a loan of USD40.4 million (mn) to upgrade infrastructure and services at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) in Barbados.
The Grantley Adams International Airport Pavement Rehabilitation and Expansion Project will support improved quality of infrastructure at GAIA; improve the institutional capacity of GAIA Inc.; and reduce energy consumption from pavement lighting at the Airport.
“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,” said Daniel Best, Director of Projects at CDB.
The Project will address ageing and weakening airside pavements at GAIA. In addition, it will support the construction of a new apron to meet the demand for improved capacity for corporate and other general aviation aircraft, particularly during peak seasonal travel.
At GAIA, high-intensity runway and apron lighting contribute to high energy costs. The Project will replace existing edge lights and apron lights with light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures to reduce energy consumption and operational costs.
On the land side, parts of the main car park and other roads on the GAIA facility will be rehabilitated or upgraded. The works will also facilitate the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles.
The Director of Projects also noted GAIA’s need for a Sustainability Management Plan.
“Having a Sustainability Management Plan will enhance the capacity of GAIA Inc. 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,” he said.
The Project will be implemented through the Engineering Department of GAIA Inc. and is scheduled to be rolled out over a period of approximately 26 months. GAIA Inc. will contribute USD17.3 mn to the Project.