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D’Aguilar: Stalled airspace talks back on

Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar said yesterday that negotiations with the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding the management of Bahamian airspace were stalled due to the U.S. government shutdown, but have since reconvened and are progressing.

Speaking to reporters outside Cabinet, D’Aguilar was asked for an update on those negotiations.

“It’s really a two-pronged approach,” he said.

“The first part of the exercise is to negotiate with the Americans on the management of the airspace.

“That process is ongoing. Obviously, that was slowed down by the government shutdown, so we are hoping to get that completed very shortly.

“The other part of the airspace is the monetization of the airspace, beginning to charge fees.

“We are presently in an RFP (request for proposals) process hoping to receive proposals in.

“When we get those, we will evaluate those and hopefully the monetization process will begin.”

The Bahamas has been in negotiations with the FAA for the past 25 years to gain control of Bahamian airspace and benefit from millions of dollars in overflight fees that are charged to air carriers that fly over Bahamian territory.

The Christie administration determined that The Bahamas was missing out on approximately $30 million annually in overflight fees.

Last November, D’Aguilar said he expects the process to be completed before the end of 2019.

Sloan Smith

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Sloan covers national news for The Nassau Guardian. Sloan officially joined the news team in September 2016 but interned at The Nassau Guardian while studying journalism at the University of The Bahamas.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications
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