Things are heating up at Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA), especially in the departure lounge where a defective air conditioning system is causing a great degree of discomfort for outgoing passengers and employees.
A manager who operates an outlet in the departure area told Barbados TODAY the heat had been so intense over the past three weeks that it had affected both productivity and business.
The source complained that even though the airport had “highly-trained and highly-paid” electrical engineers on board, they had been unable to fully restore the broken system.
“The almost unbearable heat in the departure lounge is not only impacting on the productivity of my staff members, but is also making the area uncomfortable for passengers awaiting flights out of the island.
“The Grantley Adams International Airport has a team of highly-trained and highly-paid electrical engineers on staff, therefore this defect in the system should have been repaired a long time ago. Rental fees for these outlets in the departure lounge are high and therefore operators should be allowed to make as many sales as possible to cover the fees and make a profit,” the manager told Barbados TODAY.
He charged that under these conditions departing passengers would avoid entering the departure lounge until the very last minute, thereby depriving operators of the opportunity to generate sales.
“Now that the Crop Over festivities are over and most of the visitors have returned to their homes we should be able to make as many sales as possible from the decreased traffic passing through the departure lounge. Visitors are no longer staying for extended periods after the Crop Over Festival, therefore it is important that we capitalize on the passengers passing through the airport. It is absolutely necessary that the broken air-conditioning system is fully repaired as soon as possible so that staff members can stay at their work stations and make sales,” the source said without revealing the extent of the losses he had suffered.
According to the retailer, business operators were anxiously anticipating the influx of visitors expected for the 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations in November and the official tourist season, which begins in mid-December.
When contacted for a comment on the defective
air-conditioning system, GAIA Chief Operations Officer Joseph Johnson acknowledged that the system was broken.
However, he gave operators of outlets the assurance that efforts were being made to effect the necessary repairs as soon as possible.
“We at the Grantley Adams International Airport are aware that the system was broken and we are working feverishly to have the system up and running as soon as possible. There have been some improvements since the problem arose about three weeks ago,” Johnson said.
He did not say when he expected the system to be fully functional again.