There are two bidders for the Grand Bahama airport, Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper said yesterday.
Cooper, who spoke to the media before heading into the weekly Cabinet meeting, said the two potential developers are “credible” and “funded”. He added that the Freeport Airport Development Company could make an announcement on the successful candidate in a matter of weeks.
Cooper explained that the development company is looking at a public/private partnership (PPP) model with the successful entity.
“They are looking at the possibility of entering into a PPP to design, build, finance and manage Grand Bahama International Airport,” said Cooper.
“This is going to be a world-class airport. This process takes time to be done properly and we want to ensure that we select the bidder who has the vision, resources, who understands resiliency and can execute quickly.
“So we expect over the course of the next few weeks that the board will make the final selection, then we will be able to make an announcement to the public.”
A new airport is an important component to the tourism business on the island, not only for the existing properties, but especially for the perspective developers of the Grand Lucayan resort, who have the property under contract and are currently in a “due diligence” period.
Cooper said there is a design phase of the airport that could take a long time after the winning company is selected.
“In the meantime, we are doing preliminary repairs and cleaning up the airport,” he said.
“We have demolished one of the hangers that has been an eyesore since Dorian. We’re repairing the domestic terminal to welcome Sunwing out of Toronto and Montreal, and Bahamasair out of Raleigh, North Carolina.
“So we’re going to make sure that we give the guests arriving a good experience on arrival.”
He added that the government is currently building modular housing for the airport’s administrative employees, who have worked in trailers and used outhouses in the three years since Dorian badly damaged the airport facilities.