WHILE Cabinet has given the green light for a $500 million terminal in Tobago, Piarco Airport also needs an injection of capital expenditure for necessary upgrades that would include proper in-transit facilities.
General manager of the Airports Authority (AATT)Hayden Newton told the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament on Wednesday that the airport had been “ineffectively” designed and the work done on it was of poor quality. He said the airport was not designed for in-transit passengers and did not have appropriate facilities for them.
He told the committee the authority was cognisant of the fact that it would need to upgrade ageing infrastructure. The authority was aware of the challenges of the current economic climate and had worked and tried to find solutions, he said, but had to look at renewing the facilities. Manager of engineering services at the authority Racquel Miller said rehabilitation would cost approximately $400 million. Newton said when benchmarked, AATT ranks second in terms of infrastructural development in the region. Newton also answered questions about the robbery December and in which armed bandits escaped with an estimated $5 million in cash from the cargo area at the airport. Asked how he would explain people walking onto the tarmac and robbing people, Newton said the robbery did not happen on the tarmac.