Government is pushing ahead with efforts to achieve Category 1 status for the Grantley Adams International Airport, but has cautioned that this will depend on the establishment of a Civil Aviation Authority.

This was disclosed by Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, at a news conference during the lunch break at the Ministry???s one-day Civil Aviaition Consultation last Wednesday. The discussion, under the theme: Civil Aviation and its Contribution to the Socio-Economic Development of Barbados, was held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Mr. Sealy said a bill for the establishment of the Authority, would be laid in Parliament by December. ???We hope to be able to go to Parliament certainly, I would say, during the course of the session that would come after the summer recess. Sometime between October and December, we should be able to go to Parliament and have the Civil Aviation Authority in place, he added.

Mr. Sealy further stated: ???Once we can get that and find the resources to put certain specialists in place, we should be able to move very quickly towards Category 1 and that ???can have all sorts of potential, not only for passenger flights, but certainly cargo, air ambulances and the like. So, there are lots of possibilities.???

The Tourism Minister also expressed the view that training would take on a ???new flavour??? under Category 1 status. ???The category 1 [rating] would be key to have flights originating and based in Barbados going into US ports ??? and this has all sorts of potential not only for passenger flights, but cargo and air ambulances???, he underlined.

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