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LPIA Phase One millions under budget

 

Not only is Phase One of the $409.5 million expansion of Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) 80 percent complete, but is also millions under its projected budget, according to the Nassau Airport Development Company’s (NAD) Vice-president of Commercial Development John Spinks.

Spinks told Guardian Business during a tour of the construction site that proper budgeting enabled NAD to stay shave up to$8 million off its projected expenditures, which was initially estimated to cost$198 million.

“If you’re looking at a$200 million budget and you come in$5-6 million under, it’s not a lot but you kept things in control,”Spinks said.”We did do some value engineering on the way and changed some things… and it’s basically just managing the budget properly.”

Phase One of the LPIA expansion involves construction on a 247,000 square foot U.S. departures terminal to the west of the existing building, and will also feature a new parking lot and roadway. It also includes $11.7 million in capital improvements and upgrades to the physical and sanitary infrastructure in the current terminals, a new$2 million baggage system, a new baggage carousel in international arrivals, 17 new or refurbished restrooms, enhancement of the public address system and modifications to the parking facilities.NAD also released its annual report, which NAD Vice-president of Finance and Chief Financial Officer Paul Ward revealed a $4.4 million increase in revenue to $41.4 million compared to 2009. Ward also said operating expenses decreased by $9 million to $17.7 million and NAD generated $12.1 million in net income.

“This level of net income is required to fund the debt obligations associated with the redevelopment and to maintain an investment grade credit rating,”Ward said.”A key driver of our financial performance is of course our passenger traffic.”

To date, NAD has raised $582 million from four separate transactions and currently has over$260 million in outstanding debt. A key factor in minimizing that debt is to grow its commercial revenue and manage its competitive rate program. The airport management company saw incoming passengers to LPIA increase to 3.1 million, a small rise from 2009 but down from 3.4 million in 2008. Despite the minimal growth, NAD is setting a long term goal to handle 5.8 million passengers annually by 2025.Contracts have already been awarded to local retailers for the new U.S. departure lounge, and 11 spaces have already been allocated to Bahamian operations. Those receiving spaces were Cafe Kalik, Wendys, Quiznos, Bahamas Dutch Oven Pizza, My Ocean, Last Straw, Piranha Joes, John Bull, Bahama Sol and a jewelry and crafts operation. The remaining contracts will be awarded to bidders next week, with two additional kiosks and a cart up for grabs.Spinks told Guardian Business that the unique design of the new facilities will save on its operational costs going forward and assured that once complete, the revamped LPIA will be one of the best airports in the Caribbean.

“We’re aiming to have one of the top 3 airports in the region,”Spinks said.”This isn’t your typical airport and the end product will be different from others in the Caribbean, and we want to be compared to other airports in the world.”

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