GAIA Inc. has learnt that a voice recording has been circulating claiming that the Grantley Adams International Airport has been leased to China for thirty (30) years. We deny this allegation. It is simply untrue.
The voice recording referred to an article published on our website in 2016 regarding a contract signed between the Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group (AFECC) and the China National Complete Plant Import and Export Corporation Limited (COMPLANT) for a loan to be facilitated by the China Ex-Im Bank for the future expansion of the Airport. That arrangement was subsequently suspended.
At this time, GAIA Inc. is seeking a qualified private investor to operate, expand and improve operations at the Grantley Adams International Airport through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has been advising GAIA Inc. in this regard since 2019.
Where we are now
The PPP project is in the procurement phase. In August 2020 thirteen (13) companies/consortia were prequalified in an open, transparent process. With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation sector, GAIA Inc. has been reviewing the structure of the PPP.
The 13 prequalified bidders will receive Requests for Proposals in the first quarter of 2022 when the restructuring of the transaction is complete. As such no private investor has been awarded a contract to operate GAIA at this time.
We also wish to reiterate that whenever the PPP is in place, the Government of Barbados will retain ownership of the infrastructure, while the airport operator would be granted a concession to expand, operate and maintain GAIA until the end of the contractual period at which time its operation would return to GAIA Inc.
All official correspondence regarding the GAIA PPP will be shared on our official social media platforms as well as the Government Information Service (GIS).
Chief Executive Officer, GAIA Inc.