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Airport teeing off for historic event

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

Airport teeing off for historic event

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Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) Inc. is teaming up with the owners of the Rockley Golf Course to commemorate of the 83rd anniversary of the landing of the first aircraft in Barbados.
On March 29, 1929, Captain Lancaster landed the Avro Avian which was flown from the United States on the golf course and also departed from the same location.
The inaugural Grantley Adams International Invitational Golf Tournament will be held on March 31, teeing off at 6:30 a.m.
At the press briefing yesterday, GAIA?corporate communications specialist Keith Goddard said it was part of their thrust to use dates which were significant to the Airport.
“GAIA Inc thought it prudent to do more to raise the profile of aviation and to bring about a greater awareness about the historic events that have helped to shape the development of aviation in Barbados,” he said.
In conjunction with the Barbados Light Airplane Club there will be a simulation of the landing using a model plane during the event.
Clarence Hiles, the men’s captain at the Rockley Golf Club, said they expected the top names in golf to compete including their No. 1 player Judd Cozier, defending Rockley Open champion James Johnson, Orville Alleyne and Carson Leacock.
Hiles said the recent combination of light rain and sunshine had left the course “in great condition”.
About 100 players are expected to compete, including a number of overseas players. The tournament will cater to players with high and low handicaps and the first prize will be tickets for two compliments Jetblue.
Other sponsors include Hyundai, Digicel, the Airlines Association of Barbados and Caribbean ARI.
Regional product manager Samuel Gaston said Hyundai couldn’t refuse given the historical significance of the event, and it would also give the company the opportunity to relaunch its brand in Barbados.
GAIA Inc. will also host an airport community extravaganza on July 30, an open day featuring the talent of four area schools and the surrounding community.
Airport Week will also be marked from October 14 to 20 commemorating the first landing of a commercial aircraft at Seawell Airport on October 19, 1938, as well as celebrating the contribution of the staff.