NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Key stakeholders at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) are gearing up for a busy Thanksgiving holiday travel period, with passenger traffic through the country’s major gateway expected to meet or exceed record-breaking 2019 levels.
Between Thursday, November 23 and Sunday, November 26, some 30,000- 33,000 travelers will move through LPIA.
“Traffic is expected to top 2022 figures when 30,022 passengers were recorded and meet or exceed record-breaking 2019 levels when passenger numbers reached 30,192 for the same period,” NAD said in a statement.
Beginning in early November, stakeholders from NAD, Bahamas Immigration, Bahamas Customs, Airport Authority, US Customs & Border Protection (USCBP), Air Traffic Services (ATS), Airline Operators, Airport Police and the Road Traffic Department held stakeholder meetings to review contingency plans put in place to meet the demand.
“Heading into this peak travel period, we’re pleased to see our numbers close to and in some cases surpassing pre-pandemic levels across all sectors,” said Vernice Walkine, President & CEO of NAD. “Over the next two months, our focus as an airport community will be to ensure that our facilities are functioning at the level required to manage the uptick in traffic. All of our critical stakeholders have worked together to handle similar peaks in the past and we anticipate doing the same throughout this period.”
To better manage passenger flow, LPIA stakeholders are paying special attention to wait times and staffing levels in pre-security clearance areas, US Customs, Bahamas Immigration and Bahamas Customs during peak periods of 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Air Traffic Services have also advised that they are ready to effectively manage commercial and general aviation arrivals and departures on the airside.
More than 80 percent of LPIA’s passenger traffic originates from the US market and most of this weekend’s total passenger count will be attributed to US Departures. Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts from the US Embassy in Nassau said the United States Customs and Border Protection team based at LPIA is working closely with airport stakeholders to ensure a successful peak holiday travel season.
The Chargé urges “Americans to download and use the CBP’s Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app to reduce their time at passport inspection. TSA pre-check is also available for Americans to consider when looking for ways to expedite their airport processing.”
Airport officials are also encouraging US-bound passengers to arrive at LPIA no less than three (3) hours ahead of their scheduled flights and international and domestic travelers to arrive two (2) hours prior to their departure times.