NASSAU, BAHAMAS- The Grand Bahama International Airport is expected to welcome its first international commercial flight post Dorian on November 15.
Hutchison Port Holdings and Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) executives in a statement yesterday said modular buildings for both international and domestic terminals will be procured and outfitted with the necessary equipment required to meet international standards in the coming days.
Minister of State for Grand Bahama Senator Kwasi Thompson told Eyewitness News Online earlier this month the airport’s operators were in the process of ‘putting plans together’ for a temporary terminal facility.
Grand Bahama stakeholders have have called for a swift rebuilding of the airport given its importance to the Freeport economy’s survival. Hutchison Ports GBAC is a privately owned joint venture between Hutchison Ports and The Port Group (The Grand Bahama Port Authority).
With both the domestic and international airport facilities severely compromised due to flooding, the Grand Bahama Airport Company, owned and managed by Hutchison Port Holdings with Port Group Ltd. as joint venture partners, are working to open the key gateway for tourism, personal travel, returning evacuees and business flights.
“Thankfully, the airport’s runway sustained no damage, but that does not mean that resuming operations will be an easy task,” said Godfrey Smith, CEO of Hutchison Port Holdings, Bahamas.
“A fully functional airport is vital to our recovery as an island.”
Smith said: “Not just from the traditional tourism standpoint, but also in getting Grand Bahamians back to work and giving them the means to participate in their own personal recovery.”
In the coming days, modular buildings for both international and domestic terminals will be procured and outfitted with the necessary equipment required to meet international standards.
Tented facilities at the airport, provided by the National Emergency Management Agency, have allowed travel in and out of Freeport for NGOs, aid and other personnel, as well as a multitude of urgently needed relief supplies.
Both Bahamasair and Western Air have resumed services in temporary facilities for domestic travel, which are running well as an interim solution.
“Our main goal is to reopen the International Airport facilities and welcome international commercial flights again,” said GBPA Acting Chairman Sarah St. George.
“The work has been difficult but we are excited to let the world know that Grand Bahama is once again ready to receive them.”