While Airport Authority Managing Director Peter Rutherford did not provide a specific timeline of when the modular offices at Grand Bahama International Airport (GBIA) will be ready for workers, he confirmed that the construction phase for the trailers’ foundation is underway.
“Construction for the foundation is in its second week, but all of the planning and design phases have been completed,” Rutherford told Grand Bahama News.
He confirmed that Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) inspectors visited the site on August 23 and the project was approved.
“Right now, the foundation is being poured and that will be the genesis of all the columns to be poured.”
He noted that the brackets that will hold the structures in place are being manufactured by a local company, Synguard. It is anticipated that the brackets will be completed and installed as early as this week, and the foundation’s construction by the end of September.
“Thereafter, some finishing work has to be completed, and we can move forward from there,” Rutherford said.
In an article earlier this month, Grand Bahama News highlighted complaints lodged by some workers and frequent flyers over conditions at the airport.
Among the many frustrations is the lack of proper offices for customs and immigration officers, who, at times, must brave the elements to service passengers.
In response to a Grand Bahama News story highlighting those concerns, Airport Authority officials said in a statement on August 2 the modular offices arrived on Grand Bahama on May 17.
“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,” they assured.
In related news, Minister of Tourism, Aviation, and Investments Chester Cooper recently announced a seven-member board of directors for the newly established Freeport Airport Development Company (FAD) as a part of the government’s commitment to rebuild and manage the GBIA.
Terah Rahming, a certified public accountant, has been appointed chairman of FAD. Rahming will provide oversight of all aspects of the airport’s redevelopment.
Board members include Rutherford; attorney Cassietta McIntosh; Elbert Hepburn, a businessman; Forrester Carroll, a businessman; Julian Sawyer, an engineer; airline executive Harold Williams, and a representative from the Tourism Development Company.
“FAD will function like Nassau Airport Development (NAD) Company, charged with overseeing management and development of the airport,” Cooper said.
“This is a major step to developing a world-class airport in Grand Bahama, which we aim to have completed sometime in 2025.”