Government will be exploring the best approach to improving cargo facilities at the Grantley Adams International Airport as a result of a loan from the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
The bank said it was it was lending the Government $714 400 for “an extensive study [which] will be conducted to assess the current and future needs, and the type of infrastructure that will best create a world-class facility”.
Such an upgrade will result in improved international competitiveness and multiple benefits to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in particular.
The loan was approved by the board of directors of the CDB to the Government of Barbados for the study which will be undertaken by Grantley Adams International Airport Inc. (GAIA), the airport operators.
Among the outcomes of the study will be a gap analysis of the existing operations/physical infrastructure and proposed operations/ infrastructure required to accommodate projected cargo opportunities and facility demand; security considerations to applicable international standards, for both operations and physical infrastructure, and developing and presenting physical development options, including, but not limited to, recommendations as to the type of operation(s) (optimal mix and layout of floor space) that should be provided for each of the proposed options.
“Investments in improved logistics and supply chain management can help maximise opportunities that exist for improvement in the productivity of the transportation system. Trade logistics in Barbados require institutional reform and investment in infrastructure in order to improve efficiency in the processing goods and services in trade. The development of modern air cargo facilitation will be critical in achieving this goal,” said Dr Carla Barnett, CDB’s vice-president of operations, following the recent meeting.
According to data published by GAIA Inc., in 2013 the airport loaded 8.2 million tonnes of cargo and unloaded 12.1 million tonnes.
CDB’s Country Strategy Paper 2010 to 2013 Barbados identified the high cost of doing business as a major issue affecting the international competitiveness of local businesses. Small businesses are especially vulnerable to high cost structures and the services industry is dominated by time-defined international transactions.
Improved air cargo operations enhance the opportunity to leverage logistics and supply change management to enhance trade facilitation.