Barbados opens attraction devoted to Concorde aircraft

The Barbados Concorde Experience, the newest visitor attraction on Barbados, was unveiled April 16 in a $3.5 million, 28,000-square-foot facility at the Grantley Adams Airport.

The attraction features an interactive flight school, a departure lounge, an observation deck, an inflight experience multi-media presentation and, of course, the aircraft itself.

Noel Lynch, Barbados' minister of tourism and international transport, said that the new facility would accelerate the island's tourism industry to "even higher heights" and would help Barbados "to soar above other destinations."

In addition, the new facility "gives Barbados a stronger branding image which is closely associated with excellence and luxury. The Concorde inflight attraction will help place Barbados in a league of its own and ensure the sustainability of our tourism industry."

The Barbados Tourism Investment agency hopes to develop a permanent aviation museum in the near future to house the Barbados Concorde Experience, according to Anthony Ellis, chairman.

Barbados beat out more than 70 other countries to showcase the delta-wing aircraft, which traveled at twice the speed of sound.

Mike Bannister, a retired Concorde captain, described the new attraction as being "the most impressive in the world."

Bannister recalled that "the most memorable experiences of piloting Concorde was flying over Buckingham Palace to salute the queen; flying to Barbados for the very first time; and flying the aircraft back 'home' to Barbados for the final time in 2003."

Only 20 Concorde aircraft were manufactured -- six for development and 14 for commercial aviation operations.

The Barbados Concorde Experience is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $17.50 for adults and $12.50 for children 12 and under. Special group rates are available.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Gay Nagle Myers at [email protected].

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