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USTDA GRANT SUPPORTS THE DEVELOPMENT OF A REGIONAL AIR CARGO AND
AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE HUB IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

AATT Chairman John Eckstein (left) and Len Kusnitz (right), Chargé d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain, shake hands following the award of a USTDA grant to assist AATT in developing a strategic plan for the creation of aircraft maintenance and air cargo facilities at Piarco International Airport
AATT Chairman John Eckstein (left) and Len Kusnitz (right), Chargé d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain, shake hands following the award of a USTDA grant to assist AATT in developing a strategic plan for the creation of aircraft maintenance and air cargo facilities at Piarco International Airport

PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (July 29, 2008) – To support the development of the necessary aviation infrastructure in Trinidad and Tobago to further the country’s continued growth, USTDA awarded a grant yesterday to the Airport Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT). The grant will be used to formulate a strategic development plan for the creation of aircraft maintenance and air cargo facilities at the Piarco International Airport (PIA).

The $390,572 grant was conferred at a signing ceremony held in Port of Spain. The Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy, Leonard Kusnitz, and AATT Chairman John Eckstein signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. Government and AATT, respectively.

PIA, located 15 miles east of Port of Spain, is the largest airport in the Caribbean. Currently, 18 international airlines and 7 cargo carriers that serve 26 international destinations operate out of the airport. In addition, PIA is also the primary hub and operating base of Caribbean Airlines, the national airline of Trinidad and Tobago.

As a central part of its responsibility for managing, operating, and maintaining Trinidad and Tobago’s airports, AATT plans to make PIA a major hub for the movement of people and cargo in the Americas. In doing so, AATT anticipates integrating aviation-related services (such as air cargo, warehousing, logistics, and aircraft maintenance and repair) into the overall airport development plan. The development of an aviation service center would accommodate the anticipated continued growth in air cargo volume and would diversify economic activity at the airport. The USTDA grant that was awarded today will support this effort by funding investment analysis related to the development of a new air cargo facility; maintenance, repair, and overhaul facilities; an air cargo logistics center; and ancillary facilities in an industrial park near the flight line to support the above-mentioned activities.

AATT has selected Simat, Helliesen & Eichner, Inc. (SH&E) of Cambridge, Massachusetts, a leading global aviation consulting firm, as the U.S. company that will provide the USTDA-funded assistance. In addition to the USTDA grant, SH&E will provide additional resources toward the completion of the study.

USTDA has supported several other projects in Trinidad and Tobago, such as an LNG upstream production and delivery system feasibility study which was implemented and led to $1.9 billion in U.S. exports.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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