On Good Friday, 29th March 1929 the first international flight into Barbados, a single engine Auro Avian from Guadeloupe piloted by Captain William Lancaster, landed on the fifth fairway at the Rockley Golf Club and international civil aviation in Barbados was born.
This event and the growing popularity of flying underlined the need for an airport and Seawell Plantation was bought for this purpose. The first scheduled flight to Seawell International Airport, a mail shuttle from Trinidad, occurred on 19th October 1938, when a KLM Royal Dutch Airliner landed at the then grass strip. The first passenger service was inaugurated on 6th February 1939.
Today, the renamed Grantley Adams International Airport operates on a 24-hour basis, and handles approximately two million passengers annually. The runway is over 11,000 feet long and can accommodate any aircraft in operation today.
The Barbados Civil Aviation Division, a department of the Ministry of Transport Works and International Transport, is the agency charged with ensuring the safety, efficiency and regularity of International Air Transport to this country. As a member state of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Barbados seeks to follow and enforce the standards and recommended practices developed by this organization in the best interest of international aviation.The department is headed by the Director of Civil Aviation, who is supported by oneTechnical Officer, five Inspectors, a Chief Aeronautical Information Service Officer, a Chief Air Traffic Control Officer and other support staff.