Travellers should brace for delays
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Travellers should brace for delays at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) as capital works to revamp the runway began in earnest today and is expected to take another four months to complete, according to the Nassau Airport Development (NAD) company.
NAD, the company that manages operations of the LPIA, has partnered with Bahamas Hot Mix to complete the $20 million project.
The project will require upgrades to the asphalt paving, which is expected to renew and extend the life on the runway, as well as reduce the risk of damage to aircraft that overrun the runways.
New LED approach lights are also expected to be installed to assist pilots in low visibility operations.
According to officials, the project is expected to be completed before the Thanksgiving travel period, which brings scores of visitors to the shores of The Bahamas.
“Starting today, LPIA will begin operating as a single runway facility and this is expected to continue over the next four to six months,” NAD said in a statement.
“Airport stakeholders have activated contingency plans that should assist with reducing impact to overall operations at the country’s major gateway.
“LPIA will continue to operate a safe and efficient airport, meeting all international safety standards.
“NAD officials are advising members of the travelling public to exercise patience when arriving or departing from LPIA, as there will likely be delays resulting from the runway rehabilitation project.
“Motorists using the intersection of Windsor Field Road and Rock Plant Road are asked to approach the area with caution, pay particular attention to signage in the area and be aware of heavy equipment movement in the area starting this week.
“Crews will conduct work between sunrise and sunset.”
In May, a Piper Aztec C6-TIM with two people on board collided into the ground at the Nassau International General Aviation Center at LPIA after the plane’s nose fell into a pothole.
In its report, the Air Accident Investigation Department (AAID) advised Odyssey Aviation, the operator of the General Aviation Center, to correct the standing water condition as well as address the “numerous potholes” observed during the on-site investigation.
The incident, classified as a ground collision accident, occurred around 10 a.m.
In the last year, Golder Associates Ltd. (Golder), an internationally recognized independent pavement consulting company, was contracted to work with NAD’s Airside Operations & Public Safety team and to conduct pre-engineering, design, tender preparations and contract administration services for the runway rehabilitation project, NAD said.
In April, NAD initiated a Request For Tenders (RFT) to six qualified companies — four international and two Bahamian firms — to submit bids for asphalt paving services for the project.
A total of four bids were received and submitted to the independent pavement consultant for evaluation, including three international companies from the United States, Canada and Costa Rica, and one Bahamian firm.
NAD said Golder recommended that the contract be awarded to Bahamian asphalt paving company Bahamas Hot Mix (BHM).
According to the company, Golder determined that the BHM submitted the most competitive bid and met all of the specifications required to complete the project in the “most efficient, cost effective and timely manner”.
In recent years, BHM has completed runway projects at a myriad of airports across the archipelago, including Marsh Harbour in 2006, Norman’s Cay in 2013, Bimini in 2015, Staniel Cay in 2015, Hog Cay in 2016, and Grand Bahama International Airport in 2016, among others.
“It is NAD’s expectation that the LPIA airside pavement rehabilitation project will be delivered safely, to specification, on time and on budget,” the company added.