PGIA expansion moves forward

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 42            November 13, 2003

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Press Release - Government of Belize - November 7th, 2003 - The Government of Belize (GOB) announces that it has accepted a Belize Airports Authority (BAA) management and employee-led proposal for a consortium to offer long-term management and operation of the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). This proposal was accepted after Government decided to end the previous arrangement with a consortium led by the Lufthansa Consulting Group (LCG), operating out of Los Angeles, California. The new consortium, the Belize Airport Concession Company Ltd. (BACC), which is comprised of local and international investors, will sign a long-term concession agreement with the BAA and GOB to manage the Philip Goldson International Airport and to undertake urgently needed expansions to, and improvements of, facilities and infrastructure. BACC will enter into a management agreement with Belize Airport Management Company Ltd. (BAMS), which will be owned by the management and employees. It is anticipated that management and employees will benefit from the success of the project through their involvement with BAMS.

    Investments are expected to be made in two phases, with the first phase to begin in mid-2004 to include runway extension, apron expansion, improvements to cargo facilities, relocation of parts of the airport access road, improvements to the Airport Terminal Building and upgrading of emergency response equipment. The second phase is expected to start around the year 2012 and will include major expansion of the Airport Terminal Building, additional apron expansion, car parking and road access improvements, additional improvements to cargo facilities, among others. The cost of the investment is estimated at around $80 million, and works will be undertaken by local Belizean companies.

    BACC will assume the existing long-term debt of the BAA, servicing these and the cost of the capital improvements from airport revenues. Ownership of the airport will remain with the GOB and BAA. The Civil Aviation Department will continue to carry out all its regulatory functions. The Belize Airports Authority will oversee compliance of the terms of the concession agreement, namely, BACC and BAMS. All employees currently working with the BAA will be paid all termination benefits they are entitled to and will be guaranteed employment with BACC under terms and conditions not less than they currently enjoy. BACC will honor all tenants' and operators' agreements existing at the time of the transition.

    For further information, please contact Mr. Enrique Hoare, Operations Manager or Mr. Lindford Rosado, Finance and Administration Manager at the PGIA.
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