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Barbados Airport Construction Update  
User currently offlineBGIplanefreak From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 70 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 3051 times:

I've been absent from Barbados for nearly 3 years and will be in the island this coming christmas. I was hoping to get an update of the progess of the construction at Grantley Adams Airport. I know the new arrivals building was finished last year, but has work been completed on the refurbishment to the check-in area? Are the shops in the departure lounge finished yet? Is the restaurant still open?...has it been refurbished?

I would love to see some recent photos of GAIA if anyone has any.
Thanks for any information you can give me.

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 3013 times:

I was there in June - while the check in areas hadn't been started, there were new immigration booths and security channels for departing pax, and some shops and restaurants had opened. I would hope that work would have moved on some since then - the arrivals area was complete, and was very nice, though.


No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
User currently offlineBGIplanefreak From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2908 times:

Thanks for the info. I thought work on the check in area had started already, so I'm surprised by your comment that as of June the check in area hadn't been started. I sure hope they get everything (or at least the important stuff) finished by the time the Cricket World Cup comes in March/April 2007.

As a matter of interest I found the following website (www.q2a.net) these are the architects who designed the current expansion. From the looks of it, eventually GAIA will have jet bridges! I just wonder how long that will take to complete, considering the current construction projects are over 4 years in the making.


User currently offlineEGTESkyGod From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1712 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2834 times:
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And what is happening with Concorde G-BOAE?


I came, I saw, I Concorde! RIP Michael Jackson
User currently offlineA388 From Netherlands Antilles, joined May 2001, 9742 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2799 times:

Thanks for the link BGIplanefreak. The new terminal with the expansion looks like it is going to be very nice. I don't understand why the jetways were/are not installed right away when the rennovation started in BGI. The new airports from Kenya and Nassau also appear to be very big, I didn't expect these airports to become so big either. Always nice to see for an aircraft photographer like me.... Big grin

A388


User currently offlineTurk223 From Barbados, joined Aug 2003, 396 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2784 times:

I'm a Bajan living in the US and was back home in April and my friend is the marketing manager of GAIA (and gave me a tour when I was leaving)... so here is what I know from him and what I saw:

Check-in areas are pretty much done - new desks, expanded area, flooring, and a beautiful bar areas with fountains where the old, open-air shopping area was. Covered by a "tent" like those used in Denver. No airline identies on the desks but monitors above each showing the airline/flight. Multi-user check-in stations...

Departures had just changed when I was there and it occupies the former arrivals hall. Security entrances are now where the old Barbados National Bank was (more or less) and security is located in the old customs area. There is going to be a Chefette right next to the security entrance. After security is a huge shopping arcade (modeled with chattel house style shops). Most were not open when I was there but my friend says that all will be occupied. Lots of restuarants will be there (no longer a Voyager Restaurant upstairs).

The gate area is now a long stretch of seats in an air-conditioned hall along the ramp with great views of the ramp. It's located where the open-air gates used to be between pretty much old gates 14 and 10. The ramp area is now expanded further east (I think up to gate 18?). Passengers leave from exits (gates) directly from the seating area. There is a separate gate area past the new arrivals hall for LIAT and Caribbean Star. My friend promised there WILL be jetbridges, but only four of them (or so).

The arrivals hall is all new and (kind of) joins the original terminal. It's a long walk from the farther gates so don't be surprised to see a bus or two waiting at the bottom of the stairs of your aircraft! The hall is nice and airy with fountains and a nice entranceway (with a tent and a steelband "stage"). There's a nice "Welcome to Barbados" sign outside as well. Still have the same redcaps from 20 years ago!

Immigration has about 20 desks, but still the same procedure but the E/D cards are different...

Let's see... what else?

Concorde still is open-air.

Talk of a multi-story parking garage too.

All in all, very nice and impressive for us humble Bajans. Nothing like old Seawell Airport when I was a kid. Those were the days!!!


User currently offlineA388 From Netherlands Antilles, joined May 2001, 9742 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2767 times:

Wow thanks for your extensive explanation Turks223. I will visit at least one Caribbean island for aircraft photography hopefully next year and I'm looking at MBJ, SXM and BGI. These airports all have a lot of aircraft movement, so lots of photography possible but how is BGI when it comes down to aircraft photography? Are there nice public locations for aircraft photography, maybe near the runway or at beach. I have the Just Planes dvd of the BW A343 where they also land in BGI and by what I could see from the A343 cockpit, BGI is close to a beach where the aircraft pass over on approach (?) Any tips? I know MBJ and SXM have very nice locations for photography. And also how about POS? Any tips on this location for aircraft photography and an airport hotel close by?

A388


User currently offlineLongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4915 posts, RR: 43
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2746 times:

Quoting Turk223 (Reply 5):
Concorde still is open-air.

Concorde is inside a white closed building opposite stand 17. It is outside of the secure area so it is not easily accessible for transiting passengers. I do not know if it is open to the public yet, but it looks like it is inside what may become a museum.

The work done in the last year has been amazing, and it is fast becoming "world class". Shoot as little as a few years ago, it reminded me of when I flew through there as a young lad in a TCA Vanguard!



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineTurk223 From Barbados, joined Aug 2003, 396 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2720 times:

Hello there A388...

The beach you can see in the Just Planes video is called Miami Beach (real name is Enterprise Beach but it's now more common to say Miami...) When landing on 09, flights are on final over this beach, but pass directly overhead. There are some cliff areas near the beach where you might get some good shots, but I think they're still about 1000' altitude or higher...

At the end of 09, you can park and have a SXM experience. The road is being rerouted, so the "parking area" may not be around for much longer. By the former Light Airplane Club buiding and hangars (southside of the runway across form the terminal), there are some spots on the road where you can get some take off shots.

There are no viewing areas in the airport...

Wow. What memories this post has brought back! I remember jumping the fence and standing less than 100 meters from the runway... I have shots of a Pan Am 727, Air Canada 767 (when it was brand new), American 727, and a LIAT HS-748. And parking at the end of 09? I remember the Concorde ripping overhead... sigh.

I was raised near Miami Beach and the planes passed right overhead our house. What a childhood!

Oh, and weekends I think are best for spotting and mid-afternoon.

Hope this helped!


User currently offlineA388 From Netherlands Antilles, joined May 2001, 9742 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2685 times:

Quoting Turk223 (Reply 8):
Hope this helped!

Hi Turks223, thank you for the explanation. I will decide on which island I will visit first by next year. Hopefully it will all work out fine. Aircraft photography is an expensive hobby...

Regards,

A388


User currently offlineBGIplanefreak From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2606 times:

Turk223
thanks for all the info, I can't wait to see it all in a couple months! I'm sad to hear that the Voyager restaurant is no more. What's going in that space? Is there an observation deck anymore? That would be really sad if they did away with the observation deck completely.

As you said earlier, Seawell was great, remember that observation deck? I loved going there as a kid, it was completely open-air, you could really get a great view of all the action.

Thanks again


User currently offlineBWIA 772 From Barbados, joined May 2002, 2200 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2546 times:

Hi BGI

Well since you came they implemented a new payment system for parking. Its cost alot of money if my memory serves me correctly about 400k BDS. You get a ticket when u enter but it is a plastic one instead of paper. You then pay at the pay booth (the rate is now $2 per hour) in the terminal which is located just infront of the old arrivals section of the airport or you can play at pay stations which can take coins or bills. They are two of these one located by the check in area the other by the arrivals section. One you pay you have 15 mins to leave the car park. At the exit you put the card in the machine and you leave. GAIA Inc says that it was loosing alot of money before that system was introduced. As usual bajans had to complain about the system but it seems to be working fine and isnt bad.

Interms of Concorde a couple weeks ago they put the runnning of the museum out to tender. So we have to wait and see how that goes.



Eagles Soar!
User currently offlineTurk223 From Barbados, joined Aug 2003, 396 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (7 years 10 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2501 times:

BGIplanefreak...

No more Voyager... and the observation deck is now where the admin. offices are located. You can look down from just outside the offices into the gate area.

My granny used to own a small shop in the airport for a lot of the 60s and up until the new terminal opened in 1979 (she didn't want to move into the new terminal). The shop was called "General Supplies". Do you remember it?

I used to spend way too much time on the observation deck at Seawell. What memories of the Air Canada stretch 8s, BeeWee 707s, LIAT Avros with the high-pitched whine, and of course, the BA Jumbo!

I worked for 7 years with BWIA and AA at BGI. GAIA is a whole different place now... I'm glad I have my memories. Sigh.


User currently offlineBGIplanefreak From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2448 times:

I was only 4 yrs old when the new terminal was built in '79, so what I do remember of Seawell is very limited. I do remember the observation deck, and if my memory serves me correctly, I remember there being a small little fenced in area downstairs basically right infront of where the planes parked....correct me if I'm wrong.

Not to go off on a tangent...but what do you fellas think about BWee closing down? It will be sad to say goodbye to Bwee; Caribbean Airlines just doesn't sound right. Obviously something had to be done to address the poor level of service and the spiraling losses, but I just hope the T&T gov't didn't shoot themselves in the foot by totally abandoning the BW brand recognition (especially right before CWC).


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