Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Indar Weir has blasted the previous Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration for its delinquency in addressing the pressing needs of the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA).
Speaking during debate on the Civil Aviation Bill 2022 in Parliament on Tuesday, he described the dearth of attention paid to the island’s lone airport under the DLP’s watch as “shameful”.
“I’m particularly disenchanted within the undeniable fact that since 2009 under the previous DLP administration, ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organisation] findings indicated that we were below the 80 per cent mark and that we might find ourselves in 2022 having a conversation that ought to have taken place immediately following that audit,” he said.
“I add further to my disappointment that we as a nation would proceed to depend on the services of our brothers and sisters in Trinidad and Tobago to perform for us a function in aviation that Barbados really must have had in place many a long time ago.
“I do recall in our existence we had an airline called Caribbean Airways and, subsequently, I think we were duty certain then to be certain that that we met the necessities of an ICAO audit to ensure that us to have the opportunity to be considered a Category 1 airport facility,” Weir added.
He said Barbados had demonstrated that it was world-class in several areas and there was no reason the GAIA couldn’t be transformed right into a world-class facility, much like how Abu Dhabi had made the leap.
“You possibly can understand my disappointment and the nice hurt that I feel whenever you take a look at the audit that took place in 2009 and a complete Government failed to deal with the problems required to make us a Category 1 airport. It’s shameful,” he contended.
“….I’m tremendously disenchanted that a Minister of Tourism and International Transport would take a look at an audit report and fail to deal with something so simple as primary aviation laws.” (RB)