Government announces $300 million airport agreement

The Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Office of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum of Dubai and Agencias Universales S.A. of Chile.

The MOU, announced on July 18, is focused towards a new Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the investment, development and operation of the airport, a hemispheric hub for cargo, expanded airlift and additional luxury which will cost approximately BDS $300 million. It follows an earlier MOU between the Governments of Barbados and the UAE that looked towards closer commercial interests, especially in the transport and travel sectors.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport Ian Gooding-Edghill said: “We are excited about the prospect of more jobs, training and certifications across the ecosystem of the airport, airport services and tourism sectors.  know that change can be unsettling, even if it is positive, so a critical component of this potential PPP is that there will be change in the ownership of our airport and no change in the terms and conditions.”

Expressing his gratitude to all the parties involved in the negotiating and finalising of this deal, the Minister added: “We have also tried hard to keep all workers and their representatives updated and consulted about developments, opportunities and challenges. I commit to continue to do so and keep the public updated.”

Chief Executive of Agencias Universales SA, Fernando Rodriguez said: “We are very excited about our partnership with the Government of Barbados and the Office of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum of Dubai. We are committed to the success of this project and making every Barbadian proud of their airport and the upgrades to come.”

Echoing those sentiments, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum said: “We are very pleased to collaborate with the Government of Barbados on this project. We are looking forward to positively contributing to the economy of Barbados by creating jobs, improving airport infrastructure and facilities as well as promoting tourism in the country.” (PR/JC)

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