Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) has revealed that its proposed new fee for all passengers arriving into Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) is needed toward the cost of more than $30 million in capital investments at the country’s main gateway.
NAD was responding to feedback on its fee proposal, which has garnered pushback in the general aviation sub-sector. The company explained in detail why it wants to implement the $28 airport improvement fee (AIF).
The company revealed that there were just over 30,000 general aviation (GA) movements through LPIA up to July, 31 2021, with the airport projecting that general aviation movements for the entire 2021 will exceed pre-pandemic numbers.
Additionally, GA passengers for the first several months of 2021 of approximately 28,000 have already exceeded 2019’s arrival numbers – during historic tourism arrival numbers – which stood just below 40,000.
While there is a landing fee for GA, NAD has said that there are currently no fees required to be paid by GA passengers and that it intends to commence charging the fee from February 1, 2022.
The fee would go toward capital works which include the rehabilitation of taxiways Lima and Kilo, which were constructed between 1994 and 1995 and need mill and overlay rehabilitation at an estimated cost of between $3 million–$5 million; as well as the taxiway Mike, which was rehabilitated in 2005 but is also in need of mill and overlay rehabilitation at an estimated cost of $1 million.
Additionally, NAD indicated the need for Runway 14/32 – which was constructed between 2004 and 2006 – to receive mill and overlay rehabilitation on its 80-foot-wide keel area at a cost to be determined during its 2022 assessment; and the total reconstruction of the 70- year-old Apron 5, which was constructed in the 1950s and is estimated to cost $30 million to rebuild.
“The design life of asphalt pavement is 20 years. Based on an independent assessment, five pavement surfaces, primarily used by GA, have been identified as nearing or exceeding their design life. Without remedial works, they will impact GA traffic and users in this decade. This is a safety requirement, thus the investment must be made,” NAD stated in a recently published document entitled “General Aviation New Fee Discussion Presentation” on its website.
“No investment on these aprons and taxiways ultimately means decommissioning of these pavement surfaces and service levels to GA will decline, making LPIA less viable to GA customers. This investment is required over the next five to 10 years.”
NAD started its pavement maintenance program in 2019, beginning with the rehabilitation of Runway 10/28 and Taxiway Papa, which included a new approach lighting system on both runways, at a cost of approximately $25 million.
NAD said before the COVID-19 pandemic work had already begun on design and engineering for Aprons 4 South and 5, which the company plans to reconstruct and replace the asphalt pavement with concrete for better performance and longevity.
NAD said it contracted InterVISTAS, a consultant company that works directly with GA-focused and commercial airports, to develop a new fee structure beginning in 2018 and had considered increasing landing fees among others, but eventually settled on implementing a passenger fee.
“Given the impact of the pandemic on aviation, the airport chose to proceed with a passenger-based fee as a start rather than the full range of fees modeled, analyzed and proposed,” NAD stated.
“Upon consideration of the feedback that the airport received from its GA community stakeholders, InterVISTAS has completed further analysis on a fee that is movement-based rather than passenger-based and the new fee will be levied based on aircraft size.”