Request for proposals for PPP to be issued within 90 days
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government concluded the purchase of the Grand Bahama International Airport, bringing the number of airport’s under the Airport Authority’s ownership to 30.
“Today, April 29, 2021, the final contract is being executed to complete the purchase transaction,” read a statement.
The airport comprises 2,500 acres, inclusive of an 11,000-foot runway.
The government advised that employees and the management team will transition to the subsidiary that will now be wholly owned by the authority.
As has been indicated, the government plans to redevelop the airport, and through the Department of Aviation will issue a request for proposals within 90 days in order to finalize a public private partnership to develop and manage the airport.
The authority has contracted Leigh Fisher, a Canadian international consulting firm, which specializes in airport projects, to steward the RFP process.
“The acquisition of the Grand Bahama International Airport is the third step in the government’s strategy to expand the economy of Grand Bahama,” read the statement.
“The initial step involved the reinvigoration of the island’s largest resort property.
The government purchased the Grand Lucayan resort for $65 million.
The sales process to Royal Caribbean and ITM Group is in the final stages, according to officials on both sides.
The resort has since reopened its doors to guests.
Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise is constructing a new port facility in Grand Bahama to expand the cruise stopover on the island.
“Naturally, the airport will serve as the primary gateway for tourist arrivals on the island,” read the statement.
“The current facility was substantially damaged by Hurricane Dorian on September 3, 2019.
“The government has been deliberate in its negotiations with the Hutchinson Group, the current owners of the Grand Bahama International Airport to ensure that all employees will be properly compensated for their years of service to the Grand Bahama International Airport.”
New job offers will commence on the day after the handover of the airport — slated for May 31, 2021.
According to the government, there is strong local and international interest being expressed to develop and manage the airport.
It said it will ensure that every qualified offer via its RFP is reviewed and the “best-fit” partner selected to manage “this important facility”.