The Grantley Adams International Airport. (FP)

Phase one of the Airport Airfield and Ground Side Pavement Improvements and Rehabilitation Project at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) has begun.  

The work will be conducted in four phases over a 12-month period, and will feature the complete resurfacing of the runway and taxiways; expansion of the parking apron; establishment of a new parking apron on the south side of the airfield; repair to aircraft parking aprons, along with other works.

Director of Engineering at GAIA Inc., Karen Walkes, confirmed that work commenced on a taxiway at the western end of the airport on Monday, January 20, and noted that this initial phase will involve the widening and resurfacing of approximately one-quarter of the runway and adjacent taxiway.

“We will be displacing the threshold during that work, so we will have a shortened runway, but it will be well within the requirements for the categories of aircraft that fly into Barbados,” she explained. 

Ms. Walkes noted that the first phase of the 12-month project should be completed around the “end of March going into April”, and said that during this time work will take place throughout the day and night.  However, it will not require closure of the airport during this period.

The districts of Fairy Valley and Thyme Bottom, which are located at the western and southern end of the airport, may be affected by noise and lights on the airfield at night.  Persons could also expect to smell fumes from asphalt occasionally.  There is also the possibility that surrounding areas could similarly be impacted.

The contractors, JADA Builders Inc. and Dexter Construction Company Limited, are responsible for controlling and mitigating environmental issues, and residents are asked to note that measures have been put in place to control dust.

The Airport Airfield and Ground Side Pavement Improvements and Rehabilitation Project will be executed through a joint-venture agreement between Dexter Construction Company Limited and JADA Builders Inc. 

Further explaining the construction process, Ms Walkes outlined: “The pavement work project is being done to improve the capacity of the GAIA and to renew the pavement surfaces for safety, as they were last resurfaced in 1999/2000.  We are also widening one of the taxiways in order to accommodate the larger category F aircrafts like the A380, and we are adding parking on the south side, so that we can have hangars for Fixed Based Operators.  We are building a large parking position to accommodate Category F class aircraft.  A new landside road will also be constructed from the Airport Police Station to the Fuel Farm to allow for better access to facilities in that area.”

The initiative is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, at a cost of USD $44,687,568.   It was also indicated that a hotline and an email address would be established, so that residents or other persons who have queries or concerns would have an outlet to have them addressed.

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