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Barbados aiming for Category 1 status for GAIA

12/2/2010

The Cabinet of Barbados has approved a number of amendments to Barbados’ regulatory framework to position Barbados to acquire a Category 1 Status at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).

Minister of International Transport George Hutson disclosed this yesterday while speaking at the press launch of the International Civil Aviation Week of Activities at the GAIA.

Minister Hutson said that these amendments were made to the regulatory framework to conform to internationally accepted standards, and the designation of Category 1 will create new opportunities for the country.

He added that the FAA has already started the audit process of Barbados’ systems between July to August, and are due to return shortly for follow-up action.

Speaking about the improvement and enhancement of the facilities at the airport, he said in 2009 the extension to the check-in area was completed and, at present, an additional aircraft taxiway is being prepared and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2011.

He added that the new airport fire station has been completed and is in operation, with direct access from the fire station to the runway. And, during the last 18 months, efforts were underway to strengthen security and enhance training at the airport.

Speaking about the week of activities under the theme, ‘Beyond Air Travel, Building Our Economy’, the Minister is encouraging the general public, especially young people and school leavers, to consider careers in civil aviation. He appealed to all to participate in the week’s activities, particularly the career showcase and the events at the Light Aeroplane Club.

Chairman of the week of activities and technical officer-Aviation in the Civil Aviation Department, Mitchinson Beckles, said among the activities are a presentation on Mornin’ Barbados on December 3; a church service at St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church on December 5; a flag-raising ceremony and career day at the airport on December 7; a health day on the Mezzanine floor of the airport on December 8; and a fun day at the Barbados Light Aeroplane Club on December 11.

Beckles said the career day was well received last year, and it is important that students know that they can seek careers in civil aviation that range from pilots, air traffic controllers, meteorologists, the police, firemen, electrical engineers, custodians, immigration officers to animal and plant quarantine personnel. (AR)

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