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 and repair to aircraft parking aprons, along with other works.
Director of Engineering at GAIA Inc., Karen Walkes, said that work commenced on a taxiway at the western end of the airport on Monday and 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.
Walkes noted that the first phase of the 12-month project should be completed around the “end of March going, into April”. Work will take place throughout the day and night, but it will not require closure of the airport
The districts of Fairy Valley and Thyme Bottom, which are located at the southern and western ends 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. Surrounding areas could also 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, 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. A hotline and an email address will be established so that residents or other people who have queries or concerns can have them addressed. (SP/BGIS)