Cargill: Low trafficked out island airports could be ‘package deal’ for PPP investors

Cargill: Low trafficked out island airports could be ‘package deal’ for PPP investors
Aviation Director and Abaco Redevelopment Co-Coordinator Algernon Cargill
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The government is looking to offer lower trafficked airports such as the one in Deadman’s Cay, Long Island as a ‘package deal’ for potential investors in a public-private partnership arrangement according to Aviation Director Algernon Cargill.
Cargill, who was addressing the Long Island Business Outlook yesterday, noted that the Deadman’s Cay airport cannot be sustained with the current arrival numbers. According to Cargill, based on available data from Bahamasair and Southern air, the airport received 8,961 domestic arrivals in 2018, 9,148 in 2017 and 7,927 in 2016. The island recorded 1,383 international passenger arrivals in 2018, 1,263 in 2017 and 1,237 in 2016.”These are the numbers in our data base and we need to do a better job tracking flights to our family islands that do not have direct flight from the US and other places,” said Cargill.

Cargill noted that the island ranks near the bottom with regards to overall tourism arrivals while acknowledging that obtaining reliable visitor arrival data for many of the family islands remains a challenge as it is difficult to track visitors once they arrive in Nassau, their first point of entry.

“We all know that the airport cannot be sustained with the numbers that we have. We have to build capacity for the future. When we spoke to private financiers they said we want to help but the numbers are too low. We are packaging this airport with others. If we have an investor we want to be a PPP partner with at the Exuma airport, then we say this is a part of the package,” said Cargill.

Cargill noted that the government through compulsory acquisition will acquire the land necessary to develop the 6,500 feet runway at Deadman’s Cay.

Cargill noted that negotiations have been ongoing with the commonage in Eleuthera to acquire land for the North Eleuthera airport.  “They have been advised that we will be making a compulsory acquisition of the land in North Eleuthera. “We have already prepared the recommendation to be sent to the Cabinet of The Bahamas to acquire the land in North Eleuthera as well as Long Island,” said Cargill.

He added, “We have already received Cabinet approval for $3 million to restore the Marsh Harbour airport back to its pre-Dorian days.  Prior to Dorian that airport needed about $5 million worth of work. The airport was not properly maintained. We had planned to spend $5 million. That will increase to $8 million. We are working with our partners at NAD who are helping us in determining the upgrades.”

 

 

1 comments

The North Eleuthera airport, the second busies airport of the Bahamas is in grea need for a larger terminal!! The runway needs improving, just paved, would be a good start.

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