The Airport Authority yesterday acknowledged that modular offices for displaced workers at Grand Bahama International Airport (GBIA) arrived on the island 11 weeks ago, but said no parts for the offices are missing.
Grand Bahama News, which is printed in The Nassau Guardian weekly, quoted Grand Bahamian pilot Ricky Munnings, who criticized the government for not moving to install the offices since he claimed they “showed up around the end of April”.
The Airport Authority said the modular offices arrived on Grand Bahama on May 17 and officials are awaiting final approvals by the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) before they are installed.
“The article further quotes Mr. Munnings as having ‘learned that parts for the complete installation of the modular offices are missing’. He is quoted as saying the offices ‘work on a track system, which they must be loaded and set in place on’, and that ‘the track system did not arrive with the trailers’. These statements are incorrect,” the authority said in a statement last night.
“There are no parts missing from the modular offices, all materials are on Grand Bahama. The modular offices are also not designed for a track system; they are designed to use concrete plinths, the building materials of which have been sourced on island.
“As for the offices not being installed ‘for months’, it has been technically over two months since the offices arrived, but it is not for lack of forward movement by stakeholders that they are yet to be installed.
“We have patiently worked in tandem with all stakeholders that would be involved with the setting up and functioning of these trailers and have reached a place where we are confident installation will occur in short order.”
GBIA has been in disrepair since 2019, when Hurricane Dorian caused an estimated $60 million in damage.
Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper announced last week the plan to install the modular offices to improve working conditions at the airport, while the government seeks a company to design, manage, build and finance a new GBIA through a public-private partnership.
The request for proposals (RFP) for the PPP closed on May 15.
The Airport Authority said it expects the installation of the modular offices to begin this month.
“Our installation and use plan has, for the most part, been approved and was sent back this weekend by the Building and Development Unit of the Grand Bahama Port Authority. Finalization of vendor/contract mobilizations are being expedited, with expected preparatory works to commence within the coming days,” the authority said.
“The GBPA’s team has committed to an end of next week turnaround complete with all signatures. Once the Airport Authority is in receipt of the final release from the GBPA, mobilizations to commence the work thereafter will begin immediately.
“The Airport Authority is committed to the redevelopment of the Grand Bahama International Airport and is equally committed to bringing short-term relief as safely and quickly as possible until a world-class airport can be built.”
Prior to the Grand Bahama News story’s publication, Cooper had failed to provide a response to multiple queries made on why the trailers had been sitting on the ground unused for so long.