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Airport workers are poised to take industrial action against what they call "government runaround" and false promises from the Prime Minister's Office.
Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union (BATCU) President Roscoe Perpall chaired an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss how the union plans to get the government's attention. He said action is necessary for BATCU to be taken seriously.
"We have to plan action," Perpall told Guardian Business. "They (the government) have been given sufficient time. We are just as determined as we were in the beginning and more than likely we must have a reaction to them ignoring our concerns."
The reaction in question could mean another strike by air traffic controllers - a move that will have a considerable impact on operations at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA).
Just before the new year, industrial action by the airport workers snarled busy holiday season traffic and cost airlines tens of thousands in delays, burnt fuel and overtime pay.
The BATCU has been seeking an industrial agreement for years, but bureaucracy, disagreements and other delays have hampered the process, Perpall said.
The union has remained resolute in a variety of issues, including holiday time, overdue and allowances amounting to more than $500,000 and persistent maintenance problems with radar equipment.
In fact, aviation exports continue to warn LPIA and the government that severely outdated radar and communications equipment presents a danger to the country's tourism industry.
In January, Guardian Business reported that the radar system, installed in 1985, has "outlived its life expectancy", according to Perpall.
He said staff have implemented "band-aid solutions" to keep the system up and running, but failure to address the situation has created a "condition of uncertainty" at the airport.
Last week, Perpall told Guardian Business the union was told by Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, the minister of tourism, that Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham must sign off on any industrial agreement. The union said it has given up trying to get in touch with Ingraham to resolve the matter.
"We have tried to contact the PM's office repeatedly. Right now nothing is happening for us. We feel like we're getting the runaround and we can't wait any longer," said Perpall.
Adding that the union "didn't want to go down this path", the union president said he has been in contact with other organizations with similar industrial grievances, such as customs and workers from Sandals resort.
He hinted that these groups may plan a mass protest so their voices no longer fall on deaf ears.
"It would involve separate action, but we would all move in a direction to show our displeasure," Perpall explained.
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
The Bahamas Hotel Association's (BHA) president yesterday echoed the Government's position on proposed Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) fee increases, saying he did not believe this would have "too great an impact" on Bahamian resort occupancy levels.
Robert Sands, who is also Baha Mar's senior vice-president of external and government affairs, acknowledged that while the fee increases "go against" the sector's Companion Fly Free programme and initiatives to reduce air transport costs, there were no short-term alternatives to financing the airport's $409.5 million redevelopment.
Mr Sands told Tribune B ...
Nassau, Bahamas June 17, 2013--Nassau
Airport Development Company (NAD) and Bahamas Public Service Union
(BPSU) officials signed a five-year industrial agreement impacting
nearly 200 employees at the airport management company.
Vernice Walkine, NAD's President & CEO, the new
industrial agreement reached with BPSU allows NAD to continue to retain
productive employees committed to making LPIA one of the best airports
in the region.
By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
THE Nassau Airport Development Company's (NAD) projected fee increases would ultimately spell increased ticket prices, one Bahamian-owned airline told Tribune Business yesterday, questioning whether the airport operator was giving consideration to the domestic market.
NAD is projecting that its planned fee increases for 2012 and 2013 will still leave Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in a competitive cost position against its regional counterparts, with total airport-related fees 1.5 per cent below the Caribbean average.
But Western Air's chief executive, Rex Rolle, told Tribune Business that any ...
Nassau on Friday celebrated the grand opening of the first phase of its $400 million international airport redevelopment - a moment that Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham portrayed as one of a series of advancements to transform Nassau into a great urban centre.
Shortly after Minister of Tourism & Aviation Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace declared The Islands Of The Bahamas to be among the world's per capita leaders in capital investments, Prime Minister Ingraham expounded on his government's large-scale developments during an official opening ceremony at the new US departure terminal at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA)...
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
THE proposed $25 million hotel and office/conference centre at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) is awaiting the developer's confirmation that it has obtained the necessary financing before the deal is finally sealed, Tribune Business was told yesterday.
Frank Watson, chairman of the Airport Authority, which oversees the Nassau Airport Development Company's (NAD) activities, confirmed to this newspaper that the project's progression was "in the hands" of the south Florida-based investor group behind it.
Indicating that NAD and the Airport Authority had done everything necessary to facilitate the development to-date, ...
* Hopeful LPIA delays will not hurt Bahamas' tourism brand
* Airport processing 4,000 passengers yesterday
* Baha Mar's properties in 90 per cent occupancies
File Pic of Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
The Minister of Tourism and Aviation, while admitting he had been "bombarded with complaints", yesterday expressed cautious optimism that the 'go slow' by Bahamian air traffic controllers would not damage this nation's tourism brand and reputation.
Speaking after meeting with the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union (BATCU), in a bid to resolve the grievances that prompted a 'work to rule' over ...
The Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) officially launched its new official website yesterday, which is being considered an essential part of a rebranding exercise by the Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD).
The new website (www.nassaulpia.com) includes images and information on the upgraded facilities at LPIA and carries the tagline - "No Ordinary Airport".
The launch comes at a time when the U.S. departures terminal is undergoing selective demolition and construction of an international arrivals terminal and an international departures pier.
NAD also raised its available credit to $582 million this week.
"Airports around the world are attempting to rebrand themselves in an effort to stand out in a very competitive market and LPIA is no ordinary airport, with three brand new terminals when the redevelopment project is complete - U.S. departures, international arrivals and international and domestic departures / arrivals," said Vernice Walkine, vice president of marketing and communications at NAD.
Walkine added that the previous website focused on NAD as a development company.
The new portal brings the development of age, in a sense, providing flight arrival and departure information.
"We with the site, we wanted to shift the focus away from NAD as a management company and instead highlight facilities and the service offered at LPIA," Walkine explained.