UPGRADE INCOMING: Govt signs $60M contract for Exuma airport; breaks ground on development

UPGRADE INCOMING: Govt signs $60M contract for Exuma airport; breaks ground on development
Exuma International Airport.

New airport expected to be completed within next two years

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government today signed a multimillion-dollar contract for the redevelopment of Exuma International Airport and broke ground on the new infrastructure.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis and Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar, along with a delegation, traveled to the island for the signing and groundbreaking ceremony.

The project includes the construction of a new 60,000-square-foot air terminal building and the upgrade of the runway and aprons.

Government officials break ground on the site of a new Exuma International Airport on Friday, May 7, 2021.

It also includes a new fixed-base operator (FBO) with Odyssey Aviation, who will be constructing a new FBO facility adjacent to the new air terminal building.

The existing airport terminal building will continue to operate until the new facility is available for operation, after which that facility will be converted for other uses.

The government has partnered with Woslee Construction Company as the contractor, as well as Royal Fidelity as the principal financing partner for the tranche of funds needed to build the modern airport facility.

Minnis said the movement on the airport is a campaign promise fulfilled.

“Early in my administration, we made a commitment to Exuma to build a state-of-the-art airport here in Georgetown; a modern facility that will be the envy of the region,” he said.

“We recognize that the airports have a direct positive correlation to the growth of the economy.

“We envisioned that this facility will one day become a major airline hub and cargo facility for the southern Bahamas.

“Today, I am happy to deliver on this promise. If it is the choice of the Bahamian people, it will be my great joy to be back here in less than two years to declare your new airport officially open.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaks to reporters on Exuma on Friday, May 7, 2021.

“And if Exuma so chooses, I may be joined by your new member of Parliament.”

The prime minister pointed to the government’s recent acquisition of Grand Bahama International Airport, noting that the intent is to identify the best partner to plan, develop, finance and manage that airport.

“We have a similar vision for the Exuma International Airport, the planned North Eleuthera International Airport, the new Deadman’s Cay International Airport, the Leonard Thompson International Airport, the airport under construction and soon-to-be-completed in Great Harbour Cay and the previously completed San Salvador International Airport,” he said.

The purchase of the GB airport resulted in the government owning all 30 airports in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Minnis noted that the government commissioned a study to review the government-owned airports in the Family Islands to assess each airport for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and to prepare comprehensive strategies to achieve compliance with the standards.

The study also helped to prioritize investment in the airports, including, initially, in those that have the greatest potential to be financially sustainable from an operating perspective.

About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.