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First day for new LPIA terminal a success

First day operations for the recently completed$190 million U.S. departures terminal at the Lynden Pindling International Airport(LPIA)was an overall success, with an executive from the country’s airport development company saying both the stakeholders and passengers transitioned smoothly.Manager of Communications for Nassau Airport Development Company Shonalee Johnson toldGuardian Businessyesterday that the beginning of operations in the terminal went well, indicating there were no setbacks on the first day or services to the traveling public.

“We had a very smooth transition to the new departure terminal,”Johnson said. We picked one of the slower days because we wanted to assess how the operations ran with a smaller amount of traffic. But overall everybody is impressed by the facilities; stakeholders have adjusted well and passengers are blown away.”

Johnson added that around 2,600 passengers traveled through the new terminal up to 3 p.m., expecting increased traffic over the next couple of days. The terminal was initially scheduled to open for operations on March 2, but was delayed two weeks to undergo additional testing procedures.

One of the reasons for the delay was the testing of the$2 million baggage system, which President and CEO of NAD Stuart Steeves said is”the most sophisticated and complex ever installed at a U.S. pre-clearance facility.”Johnson said the system is running fine and there is still a learning curve to become fully acclimated with it.

“We are still making adjustments with the baggage system, and with anything new there is an adjustment period and we are getting familiar with it,”she said.”But we have fully tested it and starting to work out some of the kinks.”

The completion of the U.S. departures terminal is the first phase of three for the$409.5 million redevelopment project of LPIA. It was estimated to cost$198 million, but up to$8 million was shaved off of its projected expenditure, NAD executives toldGuardian Businessin an earlier interview.

Phase two of the airport project–the construction of an international arrivals terminal–is expected to cost$129 million and is scheduled to be completed by next fall. Phase three of the project–the construction of an international and domestic departures and domestic arrivals terminal–is projected to cost$71.9 million.

Johnson said work on phase two of the project will begin right away. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by November 2013.

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