Business

Govt still weighing its options on future of GB airport

The government continues to be unhappy with the state of and rate of repair of Grand Bahama’s airport, Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar said yesterday.

The government has said since Hurricane Dorian exacted major damage on Grand Bahama’s airport, it is looking at the option of its purchase.

D’Aguilar, who spoke to the press outside of Cabinet, said the government is still weighing its options on the future of the airport.

“I think the situation is still very fluid,” D’Aguilar said.

“The government of The Bahamas is considering its options as it relates to that airport. We’re not happy with the condition of the airport. We’re not happy with the pace of the repairs of that airport.”

According to D’Aguilar, the government and the airport’s owner, Hutchison Port Holdings, still have to broker a deal for the airport and then see “what that deal will look like”.

Last month was the first time since Dorian struck in September that international flights returned to Grand Bahama.

Last month, Guardian Business flew into and out of Grand Bahama’s makeshift arrivals and departure terminal, which had to facilitate the proper protocols in order for the flight to be cleared into the United States. It was a testament to the island’s need to expedite the process of returning international flights to the island and restarting the all-important tourism engine.

A shipping container connected to the building houses the airport’s baggage scanning equipment.

The authorities that oversee Grand Bahama’s airport have packed ticketing, security screening, customs and immigration, bathrooms and a table for coffee into a space no bigger than Rawson Square.

The space is uncomfortable for an international airport in the nation’s second capital, but the authorities are making it work so that Grand Bahama’s economy can once again receive an inflow of tourism dollars and Grand Bahamians can begin to rebuild their lives through commerce with South Florida.

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Chester Robards

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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