Butler: International aviation regulations need to be enforced
The head of a domestic airline is calling for international regulations to be applied at the Lynden Pindling International Airport(LPIA), noting that making those standards mandatory is essential to the growth of the aviation industry.
President and CEO of SkyBahamas Randy Butler toldGuardian Businessyesterday that regulations on par with international aviation standards need to be considered as part of the aviation law, asserting it will add to the global recognition of LPIA and provide another vote of confidence to individuals who use the facilities.
“When you build your house in The Bahamas, you have inspectors, a building code and everything to go by to protect the people,”Butler said.”But when you build an airport there is no certification in The Bahamas for building an airport. Our role as a signatory to the International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO)… it requires that the Bahamas government have laws and regulations in place to govern the construction, remodeling, building and operation of the airport.
“If you have inspections of that airport now and they don’t meet the international standards, and it’s a half-billion dollar project, then who do you blame?”
Butler added that no airports in the country are certified according to international standards, but clarified that he is confident LPIA will meet those regulations. He believes it’s a move that the Nassau Airport Development Company(NAD)will be open to doing.
Stage One of the$409.5 million redevelopment project of LPIA recently opened on March 16, the247,000-square-foot U.S. departures terminal to the north of the existing building, featuring a new parking lot and roadway. Estimated at$198 million, it also includes$11.7 million in capital improvements, upgrades to the physical and sanitary infrastructure in the current terminals and a new$2 million baggage system.
Butler said the importance of having such regulations in place should not be overlooked and are vital to the future growth in the aviation industry.
“I have confidence and I believe the folks at NAD will do what is needed to be done, but I think NAD themselves would like to see the proper regulations for the airport and would like to see the government go into.”
SkyBahamas recently launched its international service last week, offering a pre-clearance flight into Fort Lauderdale. Known for its inter-island travel, the airline is expected to lease bigger aircraft to meet the high demand.