Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar yesterday defended the Nassau Airport Development Company’s (NAD) decision to award Bahamas Hot Mix a $20 million contract to carry out rehabilitation work on the runway and taxiway at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA).
D’Aguilar said Bahamas Hot Mix was the only Bahamian company to bid on the contract and pointed out that previous Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) governments have awarded the company contracts to rehabilitate runways across The Bahamas.
He was responding to PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell who said that this was simply another contract being given to a company associated with Immigration Minister Brent Symonette.
Symonette has said that he has no shares in the company.
D’Aguilar said, “The chairman of the PLP was very disingenuous in his comments about this [being] an attempt by the [immigration minister] to make more money.
“You know, when we put this out to bid only one Bahamian company responded. We invited more Bahamian companies to bid but only one responded.
“Building a runway is a very technical piece of real estate, very technical piece of asphalt. You need the mechanisms in place to constantly check and recheck.
“In 2015, when the PLP wanted to extend the runway in Bimini, they used Bahamas Hot Mix. In 2015, when they wanted to fix the runway in Staniel Cay, they used Bahamas Hot Mix. In 2004 to 2006, the last time that major runway work was done at LPIA, the PLP used a foreign company, and they did such a substandard job that remedial works had to be done on that runway in 2009 in order for Virgin to bring their 747 here.
“Who did they use to do the remedial work? Bahamas Hot Mix.
“So they are the premier company when it comes to runways. It’s a very, very technical job and we hired a world-renowned consulting company to put together the proposal, put it out to bid. There were three international companies, one Bahamian, and the Bahamian company was by far the best.”
Minister says PLP used Bahamas Hot Mix as well
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish