Contract signed for $65 million, largest investment in Family Island airport
GEORGE TOWN, EXUMA – Ground was broken, and a $65 million contract was signed today for the development of the new Exuma International Airport, representing the single largest investment in any Family Island airport in The Bahamas.
Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis said this critical project will deliver increased employment opportunities and cultivate entrepreneurs at the airport and nearby locations catering to the airport.
“Early in my Administration, we made a commitment to Exuma to build a state-of-the-art airport here in George Town, a modern facility that will be the envy of the region,” said the Prime Minister on Friday 7 May at the ground-breaking and contract signing ceremony.
“We recognize that the airports have a direct positive correlation to the growth of the economy.”
Key components of the upgrade program are the construction of a new air terminal building and upgrade of the runway and aprons.
This includes a new Fixed Based Operation (FBO) with strategic partner, Odyssey Aviation, who will be constructing the new FBO facility adjacent to the new air terminal building.
The existing airport terminal will continue to operate until the new facility is available for operation. Thereafter, the existing facility will be converted to other uses.
The new 60,000 square ft. air terminal building will have 100% emergency power backup.
It is designed to require a minimum of maintenance. Efficiency strategies are proposed to make the facilities sustainable.
The new refurbished runway will be 7,000 linear feet and new aprons and taxiway will be constructed.
The development will also include a new fire house and new air traffic control tower.
“Our plans include to direct aircraft traffic directly to Exuma from North and South America and to use this modern facility as a hub for the southern Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister.
A new parking lot for public vehicles and car rental companies and airport and tenant staff, is intended to be revenue generating to help sustain the airport. In a separate area, there will be space for approximately 24 taxis and limousines to park and stage.
It is expected that a cargo hub facility will be added in the second phase of the development.
Woslee Construction is the contractor for the project, and Royal Fidelity is the principal financing partner for the funds needed to build the modern airport facility. Alexiou and Associates is responsible for the design of the airport.
Prime Minister Minnis said that Woslee Construction has committed to first hire local talent from Exuma, and where local talent is not available, recruit from other islands within The Bahamas.
The project is expected to create between 75 and 100 jobs. Mobilization is scheduled to begin within two weeks and construction is expected to begin shortly thereafter.
The Exuma airport development project is expected to be completed within two years.
Last week, the Government signed an agreement to acquire the Grand Bahamas International Airport.
That purchase resulted in the Government owning all 30 airports in The Bahamas.
“Our strategic intent is to identify the best partner to plan, develop, finance and manage the Grand Bahama Airport,” said the Prime Minister.
“We have a similar vision for the Exuma International Airport, the planned North Eleuthera International Airport, the new Deadman’s Cay International Airport, the Leonard Thompson International Airport, the airport under construction at Great Harbour Cay, and the previously completed San Salvador International Airport.”