Government is reviewing the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) Public-Private Partnership (PPP),so it remains attractive for ‘new realities’ of the aviation industry; as a result, the tender process will now be launched in late April.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, has re-emphasised the importance, particularly at this time, of a PPP at the GAIA. This is as Government reviews the structure of the PPP, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international travel.
Senator Cummins indicated: “We remain focused on the GAIA PPP to mobilise private sector investment and expertise; redevelop and upgrade the infrastructure, and facilitate the redesign of the airport for the new realities of the aviation industry. This, while strategically retaining ownership of our airport.”
Following the prequalification stage, which ended with the public announcement of 13 shortlisted bidders in August last year, a decision was made to review the details of how the PPP would work, given the impact of the pandemic, before issuing the Request for Proposals.
“The increased transmission of the coronavirus, with ‘second waves’ in Barbados’ main tourism source markets, the emergence of new variants, and the additional restrictions implemented globally and locally have delayed the PPP process,” Senator Cummins explained.
“A detailed review of the PPP is under way, with consultations among GAIA Inc., Government and its advisors, to ensure a viable and attractive transaction for all parties. Once the revisions are approved, it is expected that GAIA Inc. will launch the tender process for the shortlisted bidders at the end of April 2021,” the Minister added.
Senator Cummins stressed that it was imperative to position the GAIA for future growth, and stated: “Our goal is to ensure that the airport is well positioned not only for today, but for future growth, as we seek to attract visitors back to our shores, taking the necessary measures to do so safely.”
“The recommendations to restructure the transaction for the successful tender of the PPP will help the Government realise its goal of positioning GAIA as the airport of choice within the region; able to deliver service quality standards in line with international best practices,” Senator Cummins added.
“Beyond this important PPP process, we are also working on a parallel track to develop the aviation sector and the regulatory framework that will lead us to Category One status. GAIA Inc. and our partnerships with globally experienced concessionaires will be an important anchor for that,” the Minister concluded.
Through the PPP, Government will retain ownership of the infrastructure, while the airport operator would be granted a concession, like a lease, to expand, operate and maintain the facility until the end of the contractual period. In the case of the airport, the partnership is expected to last up to 30 years.
The final decision by GAIA Inc. and the Government on which operator will be awarded the contract will be based on the outcome of the evaluation of bids against the pre-established criteria.
For more information, persons may contactGAIA’s Chief Executive Officer, Hadley Bourne, via email at GAIAPPP@gaiainc.bb.