The government of Barbados has issued a statement that the only airport in the country is not for sale. It was made known by the country’s Minister of Tourism while launching some new structures at the airport. The minister said he needed to make the statement to clear the air as there was a misunderstanding about the government’s plan to run a private-public partnership in running the airport.
Kerrie Symmonds said the wrong information resulted from misunderstanding and ignorance, not malice as some people would think. He said this as he launched a new waiting area and two new gates in the airport. The statement regarding private-public partnership was made two weeks ago when a project for the rehabilitation of the airport terminal was launched at the Wilder headquarters of the Caribbean Development Bank.
The minister at the time had said Barbados had to seek international support to achieve the feat. This is because the country did not possess the technical knowledge to run the initiative on its own. The country is already in talks with the private sector arm of the World Bank, International Finance Operation (IFO). The minister also went into detail about the dictates of the private partnership to be run.
The country is in search of a partner who will invest in the airport and bring it to international standard. They expect to get such a partner through an international bidding process. The partner will run the airport for 20 to 30 years so as to recoup the investment made after which the airport will be handed back to the Barbadian government.
The minister said it might take between 10 to 14 months to land such a partner, depending on how nimble the government will be. He also said he wouldn’t be able to explain the process any further than he had already done.