CEO of the Argyle International Airport (AIA) Hadley Bourne has highlighted the rendering of quality service as a priority area for the airport.
This was highlighted on Saturday, July 28, at the AIA during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Dr Uday Nayak of Kayan Aviation Holdings for the construction of a Fixed Based Operations (FBO) and Commercially Important People (CIP) lounge there.
Bourne thanked Annette Mark, CEO of Invest SVG, for the work done in pushing and promoting the project, and is looking forward to AIA now having the best FBO facility in the region.
Bourne said he was Holding Dr Nayak to having the CIP up and running by the winter season, as some of the major airline players, especially American Airlines, which would begin direct flights to the island starting in December, have clientele who are quite interested in this type of service.
He said he was glad that investor confidence had returned to AIA. “There was a lot of uncertainties surrounding the airport in its initial stages and having foreign investors show that there is viability in AIA, really shows that we are doing the right thing just 18 months into operations, and I am looking forward to the partnership… a long-term partnership.”
Bourne added that the CIP would be an added plus to the facility and stressed that one of the things they want to drive at Argyle is, although it may be small in terms of size compared to some of its neighbours, providing quality service.
Mark, who was instrumental in making this possible, said when she met Dr Nayak he was interested in doing an FBO and the CIP here. She said he was no stranger to the Caribbean as he owns and operates an FBO in St. Kitts. Kayan Aviation Holdings, a leasing company for planes, is also owned by Dr Nayak. Mark said the FBO will change the landscape further for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the AIA, and she looks forward to having it here.
She added that it would be quite an investment and will also provide job opportunities for Vincentians. “It is something that is essential and will add to our tourism product as we move forward in developing our tourism product.”
The MOU allows for Dr Nayak and the AIA to get all the legal issues and plans in place before breaking ground at the end of the year.
The MOU was signed by Bourne and Dr Nayak. Before signing the MOU, Dr Nayak said when he visited this country he was overwhelmed by its beauty. He noted that the FBO owned by his company in St. Kitts is the most beautiful FBO in the Caribbean.
The architect contracted on the project has already visited and thrown some ideas out and Dr Nayak said he is looking forward to getting the project to the next step before the construction mode. The investment in the lounge is valued at approximately US$7 – 8 million.