Airport Officials Celebrate Opening of New Terminal

The opportunity to witness the opening of a brand new International Airport Terminal is a seminal moment in the history of a country and its people. Indeed, the opening of the new and expanded V.C.

Bird International Airport Terminal presents a new opportunity for a paradigm shift from the old habits of doing business at the old terminal.

This new terminal is to represent the vanguard of the nation’s security and hospitality. It is where, for the most part, the country has the opportunity to create a lasting memorable impression to our nationals and visitors travelling in and out through this magnificent structure.

The ABAA Board of Directors welcome our many nationals and visitors to our home, and as stakeholders all, we must be mindful of our tremendous responsibilities as Ambassadors for our country.

To surpass the expectations of our nationals and visitors alike, it is here that particular emphasis is placed on our Security Personnel, Immigration and Customs Agents to play their important roles ensuring that the first and the last impression is exemplary.

V.C. Bird International is not just a port of entry and exit, but the driving force behind all our commercial and economic activities. With our dependency on tourism, it is critical that we get it right Without an invigorating, new approach and changed attitudes, we will be left with an excellent, modern structure without the accompanying heart and soul of our young nation, hoping to excel and prosper in a competitive global market.

Ren Gongping, Chinese Ambassador to Antigua & Barbuda

Ren Gongping, Chinese Ambassador to Antigua & Barbuda

Stanley Smith, CEO of the Antigua & Barbuda Airport Authority

Stanley Smith, CEO of the Antigua & Barbuda Airport Authority

With renewed energy, let us brand this new facility with the grace, humility and service that exceed the expectations of all. The Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority (ABAA) is delighted to be the management team engaged in the construction and commissioning of the new passenger building.

The three-year odyssey to build the terminal has been challenging but exciting. The project has undergone a number of design changes, main among them being the merge of the electrical distribution centre and the air conditioning centre to form the energy centre; the addition of a fixed connector and the construction of a sky bridge.

With 23,000 sq. metres of operating space, the terminal boasts 46 Common Use Terminal Use Equipment counters, 15 selfcheck kiosks, four loading bridges, state-of-the-art hold baggage screening equipment and conveyor system, as well as a plethora of retail spaces.

This herculean task of completing the building within such a short timeframe would not have been possible without the marvel of the China Civil Engineering Company (CCECC), the guidance of the ABAA’s technical team and the support of ABAA’s management team and staff. The ABAA”s technical visit to China and the reciprocating CCECC’s engineers design team visit to Antigua propelled this fast paced construction.

As the construction drew close to completion, the transition team was formed. With the opening now a reality and the construction and commissioning journey completed, the operation and maintenance journey has just begun. The ABAA team is excited, energized and ready to take the VCBIA further on to a path to
delivering on its vision to be “the Airport of Choice to the Eastern Caribbean and Beyond.”

The new airport terminal will surely play a very important role in stimulating the development of the tourism industry and national capacity building of Antigua and Barbuda. This terminal is meaningful for China: It is the symbol of the deepening process of cooperation between China and Antigua & Barbuda.

During the peak period of the construction of this project, there were 400 technicians working together, including 250 Chinese and 150 locals. I would like to express my appreciation to all the people and concerned departments devoted to this great project, among them are the CC ECC which undertook the design and construction of the project; the Chinese government which offered 90 million RMB of interest-free loan and the Export and Import Bank of China which offered 490 million RMB of concessional loan, and, especially, the government and the people of Antigua & Barbuda who supported the project firmly from the very beginning.

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