Categorized | National News

Bahamas to Control Airspace

After years of negotiations, The Bahamas will soon have control of its own airspace.

Prime Minister Perry Christie today announced that a final agreement is being reached with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

This agreement will govern the terms and conditions of the FAA managing the country’s airspace, initially for a period a 10 year period.

Mr. Christie noted that the agreement will perpetuate multiple benefits for the country.

“I am pleased to announce The Bahamas Government has reached a landmark and historic agreement with the FAA of the United States of America, which will result in the exemption of Bahamian aircraft operators from payment of over flight fees to the FAA on flights which take off and land in The Bahamas,” the Prime Minister said.

“It is of interest to note that Bahamasair in the last 3 years alone has paid over flight fees in excess of $1million.

“This exemption, which is expected to take effect in the very near future, will translate into significant savings for local aircraft operators, including Bahamasair,” he said.

“The effect of the exemption will also generally enhance the local aviation sector in The Bahamas,” Mr. Christie added.

“The over flight fees will be set by the Bahamas Government and collected from transiting aircraft in accordance with the economic guidelines issued by ICAO. It is also anticipated that the agreement will include technical assistance and training for The Bahamas, as it seeks to further develop its air traffic management capacity and enhance the aviation sector in general,” he said.

These discussions Mr. Christie said will also lead to an expanded Flight Information Region (FIR).

“As indicated an important aspect of these discussions is the steps now underway by The Bahamas Government for the formal recognition by ICAO and neighbouring states of an expanded FIR largely corresponding to our maritime borders. The FAA has indicated an intention to work together with The Bahamas in this important endeavor,” Mr. Christie explained.

Included in the local negotiation team are Sir Baltron Bethel, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Prime Minister, Mr Charles Albury, Under Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, Mr Loren Klein, Consultant, Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs, Mr Keith Major, Acting Director of Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority, Mr Patrick Rolle, Consultant, Ministry of Transport and Aviation, assisted by Mr Deepak Bhatnagar, Executive Director, Board of Directors, Bahamas Power and Light.

Aviation Minister Glenys Hanna Martin spare headed the negotiations.

The most recent rounds of discussions on the matter started back in 2014; but the issue of gaining control of the management of the airspace has been an issue for more than 60 years.

“These developments represent a significant achievement and advancement in the affairs of the Bahamian people with respect to the management of its sovereign airspace, which heretofore had not been accomplished by previous administrations,” the prime minister charged.

On hand for the big announcement was Aviation Minister Glenys Hanna Martin who said the government has and will invest in new technology that will further enhance the aviation industry.




Written by Jones Bahamas

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