Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 26th 2015 Contents FEBRUARY 2015 • WEEK FOUR www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
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time ago. The airport has always been recognised as an
international airport, what we are doing here (the modification)
is making life a little more comfortable, not only for the pas-
sengers using the facility, but for the employees whether it
is airline employees or customs."
He admitted that the airport is "limited" in its capacity and
with the modification it is hoped that the capacity of the
airport is increased. Refurbishment of the air-conditioning,
modernising the information technology also form part of the
Tobago Division of the
Trinidad Chamber responds...
Even though Cadiz outlined the details of the $44m mod-
ification on the airport, Diane Hadad, chairman of the Tobago
Division of the Trinidad Chamber, raised certain objections.
She said consideration has not been given to expanding the
airport to accommodate more flights.
On Monday, in a telephone interview, Hadad said the airport
does not need upgrading, it needs expansion to accommodate
more visitor arrivals to the destination.
She added: "What was shown to us was disappointing, it
is a $44m project. We indicated a couple years ago when the
first presentation was done at Coco Reef that was not what
Tobago needed. We really needed to have more space to accom-
modate more people and therefore to accommodate more
flights. You still have the movement of people if you are going
to encourage more flights, you need more space."
Describing the second meeting as a "repeat" or "dusting
off" of the first presentation made to the group last year,
Hadad said: "We asked at that meeting whether it was possible
to spend the money on the first phase of the new airport and
the answer was no . We (the Chamber) don t see the value
of just dressing up of what s there."
Hadad added in the group s discussions with Caribbean
Airlines Ltd (CAL), the issue of additional seating to cater for
delayed flights was talked about.
"In us asking for CAL to do more flights, or going out there
to lobby for more people to visit Tobago, it is the movement
of people in a specific sized space. You cannot move more
than a certain amount of people in a certain amount of space,
you are going to cause problems."
Administration after administration, discussions have taken
place about increasing the size of Tobago s airport, Hadad
said. Asked whether politics is being played with the people s
business in Tobago, she said: "None of our politicians have
really taken Tobago seriously, in terms of actual development
of the island. I think we continue to suffer for it."
The island is lobbying to retain its international global credit
Last week Friday, a team led by Joel Jack, secretary for the
division of finance and enterprise development at the Tobago
House of Assembly, met with representatives of Moody s
Investor Services. Those discussions, which started in 2014,
are expected to conclude in a few weeks. If the sister isle
retains its international global credit rating it would mean that
it could be one of the highest ranked in the Caribbean region.
In a statement last week, the THA stated: "The island s
balanced fiscal results (operating surplus), very low debt levels
and solid liquidity position were noted in the report and should
impact positively on the overall grade assigned. If given a Baa1
rating the island will be one of the highest ranked in the
Caribbean scoring higher than Barbados, Jamaica and St
Vincent among others."
In order to qualify for an international global credit rating,
the island had to subject itself to intense scrutiny of its financial
operations including the following, according to the THA s
• Examination of its institutional framework
• Sources of income
• Performance of revenues of the assembly
• Expenditure trends including the evolution of its recurrent
• Contingencies account expenses
• THA deposits
• Cash management and liquidity and its debt financing
T&T, according to THA s statement, now enjoys a Baa1
rating and the outlook for the assembly s rating may be on
par. The THA is expected to meet with Hadad tomorrow, to
discuss further development of the island, including the mod-
ification of the airport.
What the airport needs...
Commenting on the rating, according to THA's state-
ment, Joel Jack, secretary for the division of finance and
enterprise development, said: "This rating will go a long
way, boosting investor confidence and advancing the
THA's development plans for the island as set out in the
Comprehensive Economic Development Plan (CEDP). It
will provide the assembly with greater access to the capi-
tal market where it can independently source funds for
priority projects to sustain growth on the island. This has
become even more critical given the situation with the en-
"Decreasing oil prices and the continuous challenges
with central government allocations will soon be appropri-
ately addressed through the utilisation of alternate mod-
els for funding for Assembly projects including Public
Private Partnerships other similar mechanisms. "
In February 2014, the ANR Robinson International
airport was awarded the ISO 14001 Certification For
Environmental Management Systems. This means
that the airport is the only airport in the region that
has taken steps to ensure that its operations are en-
The airport, in order to qualify for this certification,
had to develop a programme to enhance the environ-
mental performance of Tobago. The airport imple-
mented an eco-management audit scheme which
managed the impact on the environment of the visi-
tor from their arrival to their departure. This included
having sorting bins for recycable waste as well as
training for staff on how to be environmentally
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