Hanna-Martin sets the record straight on airspace use
Former Minister of Transport and Aviation and Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin, lambasted the government in a statement Thursday, for what she said was this misleading of the Bahamian people on her previous ministerial role with regards to Bahamian airspace.
Hanna-Martin wrote, “It was that former minister (Hann-Marin) who, for the first time ever in the history of The Bahamas, engaged the United States of America’s government to recover control of the sovereign air space of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
“As a consequence, and after high level negotiations, in April 2017 an historic Declaration of Intent was executed between the two nations.”
According to Hanna-Martin, the signing allowed for the following:
- The immediate exemption of all Bahamian-owned aircraft taking off and landing in The Bahamas from paying overflight fees to the United States government. This exemption has inured to the benefit of The Bahamian people in the millions of dollars;
- The United States of America committing to working diligently with The Bahamas and
ICAO in redefining an expanded airspace for The Bahamas;
- Joining with The Bahamas in discussions with neighboring states in this regard; and
- Committing to entering a formal agreement between the two (2) States wherein The Bahamas shall collect overflight fees for her sovereign airspace and simultaneously entering into a management agreement for a fixed period with the FAA.
Hanna-Martin said that the policy position allowed, in the interim, The Bahamas to begin building capacity including the acquisition of the necessary infrastructure to assume full control of its airspace.
“It must be recalled that it was the Free National Movement’s (FNM) philosophical position that The Bahamas would never control its airspace,” she said.
“We must therefore carefully monitor this government’s actions in aggressively pursuing these commitments on behalf of The Bahamian people.”