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Nassau, Bahamas - The following is a Press Statement on US Terminal Power Failure May 9, 2013.
o As a part of its ongoing
preventative maintenance program, NAD's contractor, General Electric,
carried out service on the airport's electrical systems beginning
Wednesday May 8, 2013.
o The second phase of the
service was scheduled to begin early on Thursday morning with BEC on
site to disconnect the commercial power.
New US terminal opens Wednesday, March 16th. departing passengers should be advised to arrive at the airport 3 hours prior to departure. This is a precaution over the coming weeks to allow sufficient time for processing.
Nassau, Bahamas - A 26 year old male of Marsh Harbour, Abaco is in police custody after being found in possession of four and a half (41/2) pounds of suspected Marijuana. Officers of the Airport Police Station arrested the man around 4:20 pm on Tuesday 11th June, 2013 in the domestic section of the Lynden Pindling International Airport.
The drugs have an estimated street value of four thousand five hundred ($4,500.00) dollars...
The multimillion-dollar Lynden Pindling International Airport redevelopment project is a key factor in the government's effort to reclaim the country's spot as one of the premier tourism destinations, Prime Minister Perry Christie said yesterday.
Cabinet ministers toured phase two of the project yesterday morning.
"This is just a part of an overall vision to complete the tourism product on the island of New Providence," said Christie at the end of the 30-minute tour.
Pointing to the number of anchor projects his administration left in place before the Progressive Liberal Party's election loss in 2007, Christie said efforts will again be made to increase airlift to the country.
"The idea was that we'd have the bodies by the millions," the prime minister said.
"We have come back in to ensure that there is full recovery in the tourism industry, that Bahamians are integrated meaningfully into the progress that is being made and that we will see that at the airport in the music that is played in the precincts of the airport, and in the art that is displayed in the precincts of the airport."
While still incomplete, phase two of the project bears little resemblance to the previous structure.
Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) President and CEO Stewart Steeves said about 25 percent of the work is still left to complete.
Phase two includes the conversion of the existing U.S. terminal into a new international arrivals terminal.
Only the steel beams and the foundation of the old structure remain.
The new terminal will also house the Department of Immigration and the Department of Customs.
Steeves said there are 201 people working on the project 70 percent of whom are Bahamian.
But Christie said he is looking to improve on the ratio of Bahamian workers.
"We know that there is room for improvement even over the 70 percent, by ensuring that we have more dynamic training programs where even more workers if not by the second phase, then by the third phase, will be able to become actively involved in the site," he said.
Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said with the Baha Mar project coming on stream, The Bahamas has to be able to increase its airlift.
Wilchcombe said he is pleased with the development so far.
"I believe that The Bahamas is reclaiming its position as a premier warm weather destination," he said. "We lost our post and now we're going after it. We are going to ensure that we will sustain it for a long period of time."
Aviation Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin revealed that when the airport is completed the government will erect a physical embodiment of the late former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling, after whom the airport is named.
"The renaming of this airport was a significant step," she said. "It was not just a renaming. It was symbolic of what this airport represents. What you see unfolding is symbolic of what he set out to do."
Hanna-Martin said the airport redevelopment is a major component of the government's overall effort to redevelop the country.
The entire project, including phase two and phase three (international and domestic departures and domestic arrivals), is scheduled to be completed by November 2013.
Once the entire airport redevelopment is completed, there will be a 21 percent increase in terminal size, a 50 percent increase in capacity to over five million passengers annually and a 100 percent increase in security capacity, according to Steeves.
It will cover 571,000 square feet with an additional one million square feet of aircraft operating space.
In total, one-third of the $409.5 million airport redevelopment will be carried out by Bahamians, which amounts to about $81 million in contracts, according to officials.
Investigate Death of a Male - Nassau, Bahamas -
Police along with officers from the Civil Aviation Department are
investigating an accident which resulted in the death of a male
incident reportedly occurred around 9:45 am on Thursday 28th February,
Police Arrest Male for Sacril
ege - A 26 year old male of Lazaretto Road is in police custody after he was found breaking into a church, located on Gladstone Road...
An industrial accident at Lynden Pindling International Airport brought work to a halt shortly before noon at the facility's under-construction international arrivals terminal yesterday.
When The Nassau Guardian arrived on scene, Emergency Medical Services personnel were seen attending to two injured construction workers.
A short time later, the workers were carted away in two ambulances.
Up to press time, it was unclear exactly how the accident occurred.
A team of police officers assessing the scene, conducted several interviews with officials of the Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD).
However, NAD officials remained tight-lipped on the scene, declining comment, as a crowd of onlookers, including airport staff and many construction workers, quickly gathered around the entrance to the international arrivals.
In a statement released by NAD yesterday afternoon, the company confirmed the injuries.
However, the full extent of their injuries was unknown, according to NAD's statement.
A witness at the scene, who was not authorized to speak on behalf of the company, displayed photographs taken from his cell phone of one of the victims.
His left leg appeared to have been severed from the knee down.
Police officers also took photographs of two cranes stationed at the building's entrance, although it was unclear if the cranes were involved in the incident.
NAD's CEO and President Stewart Steeves said safety is a priority for both the company and its general contractor, Ledcor Construction, as well as its Bahamian affiliate, Woslee Construction.
"Until today, we have had an excellent safety record on the stage two construction site with zero lost time accidents." said Steeves in NAD's statement.
He added, "We will be working closely with all contractors and sub-contractors involved to investigate and determine the cause of this unfortunate accident. We are keeping the injured workers and their families in our thoughts and prayers."
The second phase of the $409 million airport redevelopment project began back in March 2011, with selective demolition of the old U.S. Departures terminal.
NASSAU, The Bahamas - Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham, along with several cabinet ministers and their spouses, toured the new airport facilities. On Saturday, March 5, the officials were able get an inside look at the new U.S. Departures Terminal at the Lynden Pindling International Airport. Mr. Ingraham expressed his pleasure upon seeing the new facilities.
"I have to say that I have no complaints about the new phase 1 terminal," said Mr. Ingraham. "In fact, I'm blown away and I'm very optimistic to see what the next two phases will bring."
Mr. Ingraham also gave some background information on the contract negotiations for the new airport and said that initially, the new facility was to be funded by user fees. As a result of the downturn in the economy, however, he said that the government had to put up $50 million to fund the project. In addition, he added that the there was no customs duty imposed on the project. "Needless to say, the government is very eager to get the money back."
The officials toured the new 247,000 square foot terminal which is the first completed stage of the projected $409.5 million airport redevelopment project. Included in the upgrades to the airport are a $10 million state-of-the-art baggage system, eco-friendly building design features and artwork on display by local Bahamian artists, including Nicole Sweeting, John Beadle, John Cox and Susan Katz-Lightbourn. The new facility is expected to create 150 - 200 jobs.
An estimated $105 million has been awarded in construction contracts to Bahamian firms involved in the Lynden Pindling International Airport's (LPIA) redevelopment to date, as the final phase of the project nears completion, Guardian Business can confirm.
The Nassau Airport Development Company's (NAD) Chief Executive Officer and President Vernice Walkine noted that just last month there were 303 workers on-site, with 74 percent of the labor being Bahamian to date.
At the peak of the project's construction, Walkine said there were more than 350 workers on-site.
On Friday morning, Prime Minister Perry Christie, along with members of his Cabinet including Minster of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin and Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe toured LPIA's final phase.
Earlier this year, NAD officials told Guardian Business that millions of dollars have been injected into the local economy as a result of LPIA's third and final phase.
Since construction began in 2009 on LPIA's $409.5 million expansion, hundreds of construction workers have reportedly put in more than 107,000 man-hours on the site.
In June, Walkine confirmed to reporters that LPIA's final phase is expected to be completed ahead of schedule for November and on budget at $83.5 million.
At the time, she said there have been no work interruptions, and the terminal is really starting to "take shape".
"We believe that we will beat that date. I can't say by how much, but we will definitely beat that date. We're very happy that we have built in enough slack if you will, allowing weather delays if any, hurricanes and tropical storms and we believe that at the end of the day, we will beat that schedule. It's been going very well," she explained.
"We are really excited about it because I do believe that this particular terminal is going to be the best, the best in terms of not only its functionality, but its design and layout and the art which is going to be unique and representative of the country."
"We will be able in the next few months to present to the Bahamian public a terminal they can be proud of, and also travelers to non-U.S. destinations will have a seamless experience as well," she said.
Work began on the new domestic and international departures and domestic arrivals in October 2012.
The 112,000-square-foot facility will include four restaurants, nine shops, two bars and a lounge, which will greatly enhance the country's domestic tourism product.
In addition to focusing on maintaining the state-of-the-art facility, Walkine stressed NAD's focus on ensuring that all travelers have a great experience when passing in and out of the airport.
LPIA facilitates 32 airlines that service 29 international and 16 domestic destinations.
New automated passport control (APC) technology at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) may double passenger processing and avoid a "painful process" ahead of expected growth in the country's tourism sector.
Speaking with Guardian Business yesterday, President and CEO of Nassau Airport Development Company (NADC) Vernice Walkine said that the recent purchase of 20 APC self-serve kiosks was the next step in LPIA's modernization and would be able to accommodate the anticipated influx of visitors following Baha Mar's launch next year.
"In anticipation of a strong spring and strong summer next year with Baha Mar opening, we will have the incremental traffic caused by that opening. The [kiosks] put us in a position where we can accommodate the growth without it being a painful process.
"You're not adding a lot more passengers without growing the processing capacity. This allows us to almost double our processing capacity, so it cuts down on the time it takes quite dramatically," said Walkine.
Baha Mar is expected to bring some 2,200 rooms on stream with its slated late spring 2015 launch.
While many members of the country's hotel and tourism sectors have called for increased airlift into The Bahamas, the installation of the APC kiosks aims to address the ease of traveling.
Although Walkine would not provide a figure for NADC's investment in the new processing systems, which will service passengers departing LPIA's U.S. pre-clearance facility, she noted that they would be operational beginning in February 2015.
"It's something we're really excited about. We've been looking forward to having this installed for quite a while because it's in keeping with our goal of being a world-class airport.
"It will certainly modernize our passenger processing efforts at the airport. It has been proven to dramatically reduce the queue time and processing time for people going through pre-clearance facilities," stated Walkine.
The investment makes LPIA only the second airport in the region to implement the technology after Aruba International Airport.
Passengers eligible to use the APC kiosks include U.S. and Canadian citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents and international travellers with Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) from 38 countries not requiring U.S. entry visas, including Australia, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Walkine additionally noted that the APC systems would not cause a reduction in customs staff, and could lead to additional jobs maintaining the new equipment.
Innovative Travel Solutions, a division of the Vancouver Airport Authority, designed the APC systems. The systems have been deployed to some of the world's busiest airports including New York's John F. Kennedy International and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International.
LPIA processed 3.2 million visitors last year, and currently has the capacity to process approximately 5 million passengers annually.
Significant flight delays are being reported at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) as the radar undergoes major repairs.
With the radar down, staff at LPIA are relying on pilot reports from other airlines to guide the carriers into Nassau, according to Roscoe Perpall, president of the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union (BATCU). The process is less exact and takes more time, he explained, leading to delays for thousands of tourists.
The radar blackout is expected to last into Friday.
"The radar in Nassau is currently down and undergoing major repairs, it will be out for long periods of time during the daytime hours. The FAA has sent in a team of experts to assist in fixing the problem," Perpall said.
"There are two motors that need to be replaced. As a result of the radar being down, you can expect significant delays at the airport due to us having to use procedure control. There have already been significant delays in some cases for up to an hour and a half."
Officials at the Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) also confirmed to Guardian Business that LPIA has been experiencing some delays as a result of the radar being out of service for maintenance purposes.
"We are experiencing some delays as a result of the radar being out of service for maintenance," Shonalee Johnson, NAD's communications manager revealed.
"According to the reports that we have been receiving, planes have been delayed on the runway as well as the aprons for up to an hour, and sometimes more than an hour. We are devising a plan to mitigate the impact of the delays by ground."
Captain Randy Butler, the CEO of SkyBahamas, said his airline experienced delays of up to two hours, "which is impacting business in a big way".
While he agrees the radar needs maintenance, Butler felt it could be done at a more efficient time so there is less disruption at LPIA. He suggested more work should be done in the nighttime.
"Usually, the airport goes quiet anytime after 7:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m., and there is still some light and if they were to do that, we would be much obliged," he told Guardian Business.
Meanwhile, the downed radar elevated the need to purchase new equipment. Perpall told Guardian Business that the airport is now accepting bids. He noted that anywhere from $15 million to $17 million has been earmarked for the radar out of the Inter-American Development Bank's (IDB) $50 million loan for works at the airport.
The BATCU chief added that a new radar was one of several issues that were addressed with Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham when the union met with him less than a month ago.
During those meetings, Perpall said the prime minister committed to addressing some of those issues related to the union's current industrial agreement.
"He indicated to us that he is not prepared at this time to continue negotiations on the proposal that was being discussed, but he would honor those commitments out of the industrial agreement that we continue to operate under to date," said Perpall.
Another issue facing the BATCU is the outstanding funds owed to its members. However, Perpall told Guardian Business that this matter is being addressed.
"Some monies were owed to the controllers and were supposed to be paid at the end of April. Those funds were not paid out. We met with the union on Monday night to discuss our actions going forward," he added.
"We were assured that the funds will be paid out to them before the weekend. Right now, we are just awaiting those outstanding payments. I think it might be in the vicinity of $250,000."
Perpall said that while his union was not happy with the prime minister's attitude towards negotiations, the fight will continue to get an industrial agreement signed and registered.
"The prime minister said he wasn't prepared to do that at this time and would reconsider after the election campaign is over. We are hoping to achieve an amicable solution in some way, so we will continue to work with them," Perpall explained.
"We decided that we will continue to fight towards trying to get those items in the industrial agreement that have been outstanding resolved, and hopefully at the end of the day have the industrial agreement signed and registered."