NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government expects to break ground on the Deadman’s Cay Long Island airport redevelopment project by the end of the second quarter of 2024 by replicating the design of the Great Harbour Cay airport, according to Acting Prime Minister Chester Cooper, who also cited a historic surge in foreign air arrivals to the island during the first nine months of this year.
“We have seen a surge in Long Island’s aviation landscape, setting records that surpass pre-pandemic levels,” said Cooper while addressing the Long Island Business Outlook on Thursday.
“It’s a testament to the resilience and growing appeal of this island paradise. In the first nine months of 2023, Long Island welcomed a historic number of foreign air arrivals, soaring to 1,858 — an achievement that propels you among the Family Islands witnessing unprecedented air traffic.”
Cooper reported that the average length of stay stands at 8.7 nights, signifying the island’s allure for extended visits. He further noted that 64 percent of the island’s visitors arrive via commercial airplanes, while 32 percent opt for private planes and four percent journey on yachts or private boats.
The Deputy Prime Minister revealed that the Deadman’s Cay airport is set to undergo a significant transformation, with plans for 20,000 square feet of expanded modern terminals, increased parking, extended runways up to 7,000 ft, and upgraded airside features — advancements aimed at enhancing our air travel experience and facilitating the island’s accessibility.
Cooper noted that the airport will be fully equipped by police, immigration, customs, and MOTIA – with significant retail vendor opportunities.
“We believe we can expedite the airport’s development by replicating the design of the Great Harbour Cay airport. That design has demonstrated its effectiveness in terms of functionality, modernity, and the seamless facilitation of air travel. This approach allows us to fast-track the planning and implementation stages with a successful real-world model. By doing so, we can swiftly move through the various phases of development, streamlining the decision-making process and minimizing potential setbacks or delays,” said Cooper.
Cooper said that while building an airport is a long process and could take up to two years, the government fully expects that by using that model it will be able to break ground in 2024. He assured that the airport is a government priority.
He described Long Island as being on the cusp of transformative developments.
Azul Destinations Ltd and Calypso Cove Destinations Ltd have received approval for the Calypso Cove development. The project entails a $250 million investment, including a 200-room hotel, mega yacht marina, recreational facilities, Bahamian art plazas, a golf course, and much more.
“This project promises not only luxury but also immense employment opportunities for possibly thousands of Bahamians. This project represents a collection of facilities and activities aimed at providing diverse experiences for Long Island’s visitors.
“There will be a 200-bedroom hotel designed to offer a comfortable and luxurious stay for guests, providing them with a welcoming retreat. Additionally, there will be marina facilities for mega yachts, as well as pools and lagoons designed to support water-based activities.
“Among the amenities, there will be a recreational lighthouse and various sporting facilities for activities such as basketball, volleyball, and yoga,” said Cooper, noting that cultural attractions, animal encounters, and an 18-hole golf course are also planned.
Additionally, Diamond Crystal Properties Limited has unveiled plans for The Salinas—a multi-phase project encompassing a marina, hotels, residential lots, nature reserves, and more across 1,440 acres on Long Island. Phase 1 at Hard Bargain spans across 707 acres and includes various amenities such as a 30-acre marina with 150 slips, a boardwalk, plazas, a natural mangrove pool, cafes, restaurants, bars, local businesses, watersports facilities, nature tours, and fishing excursions.
The development also encompasses a 64-bed lagoon hotel, a 127-bed oceanfront hotel, 17 large estate lots, 68 residential lots, and 85 single-family homes. This phase incorporates an extensive 8,560-acre Nature Reserve.
Phase 2 at Rose’s Point comprises 473 acres and focuses on developing 196 residential lots.
Phase 3 at Galloway South covers 160 acres and is designed to feature a 47-slip marina, along with a 75-bed hotel, a 160-bed hotel, and 58 single-family home lots.
Phase 4 at Galloway, spanning 100 acres, involves the creation of a lagoon canal trail within the Salina’s site. It includes a 15-acre marina area equipped with a boardwalk accommodating mixed-use facilities such as shops, restaurants, and recreational activities.
Additionally, it features a 220-room beachfront hotel, 12 residential lots, and a marina accessible via an oceanfront cruise ship dock.