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Barbados airport not leased to China, says CEO

Barbados airport not leased to China, says CEO
Grantley Adams International Airport. (FILE)

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Chief Executive Officer of Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) Inc., Hadley Bourne, is refuting claims that the airport has been leased to the People’s Republic of China for 30 years.

And when the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for the Airport 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”.

In a statement issued to the press, Bourne said this claim was circulating via a voice recording.

“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,” the statement said.

“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.”

Bourne said the PPP was still in the procurement phase, with 13 companies prequalified “in an open, transparent process”. They will receive Requests For Proposals in the first quarter of 2022 when the restructuring of the transaction was completed.

Members of the public were also advised that information would be issued via official social media platforms and the Government Information Service. (PR/SAT)