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D’Aguilar: RFP to monetize airspace closes this weekend

The government’s request for proposals (RFP) to find a company to help this country monetize its airspace, comes to a close this weekend, Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar said yesterday.

D’Aguilar said given that The Bahamas does not have institutional knowledge on the subject of airspace monetization, it is necessary to hire a company to move the project forward.

He said when the RFP closes, the company submissions will be reviewed, and “a decision on an entity to move this project forward” will be made.

In November, D’Aguilar revealed that the government was preparing an RFP to get help with monetization.

He said then that negotiations with the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding the management of Bahamian airspace were “going extremely well”.

“Just two weeks ago, I met with the FAA in Miami again. It was my second meeting with them, and we are moving quite smartly along with getting an agreement with them, where they would continue to manage our airspace,” D’Aguilar said in November.

“What we are going to do is, we are going to secure the right to charge the fees, the overflight fees, and the Americans, we will pay them to manage our airspace on our behalf.

“That seems to be a wonderful compromised situation, where it allows us to charge overflight fees and the Americans will continue to manage our airspace.

“Remember, about 75 percent of our airspace is managed by the Americans and about 25 percent of it is managed by the Cubans, so it’s complicated.

“Our sovereign airspace is managed by two different countries, and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is the one that will determine — and they do this throughout the world — they determine who manages airspace.”

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.

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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