The government is still in discussions with Hutchison Ports and the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) over the sale of Grand Bahama’s international airport, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said yesterday, affirming that it intends to move forward with the acquisition and renovation of the facility.
Grand Bahama’s airport was devastated during the passage of Hurricane Dorian in September, a fate it has suffered through numerous hurricanes given its low-lying position and proximity to the ocean.
Turnquest said the government will replace the current buildings with more resilient structures when its
negotiations with Hutchison and GBPA are finalized.
“We’re still in discussions with the owners of the Grand Bahama airport for the eventual transfer of that facility to the government, with the objective of renovating it back to its former glory and in fact building a new terminal, taking into account the level of storm surge the airport has suffered after successive hurricanes,” he said.
“Yes, we do intend to go forward with the transfer of the airport to the government and we will invest in that facility to get it up and running as quickly as possible.
“[S]o we don’t have to go through these situations over and over again.”
Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar said in January that it would be “crazy” to redevelop Grand Bahama’s airport along the lines it has previously been built back after suffering infrastructural damage during major hurricanes. He said moving forward, the airport has to be raised or protected by dykes.
D’Aguilar said the owners of Grand Bahama’s airport have become fatigued in dealing with a compound that has suffered the destructive forces of hurricanes over the past seven years.