Categorized | National News

D’Aguilar Tells of Andros Airport Bad Deal

Former Aviation Minister Glenys Hanna- Martin got a serious scolding for  negotiating a “bad deal” to house the Andros Airport facilities  in the Western Air terminal for $5 per square foot per month.

According to Aviation Minister, Dionsio D’Aguilar, the decision came after the trailers that housed those facilities  deteriorated to the point that workers walked out.

Minister D’Aguilar minced  no words in calling  Mrs. Hanna- Martin as not a very good business person.

“The Rolle’s and the government agreed that its $60 a square foot and if you look at the instructions that was given to the Airport Authority by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport by the Minister of Transport, it said in that instruction we know that if you charge $25 a square foot it would be $75,000  plus a year, but we’re instructing you to override that and pay them $60 per square foot, which equates to $183, 000 a year. 

“That’s what was done;  there’s no bone about it and she’s saying well they included the electricity and other costs.

“However,  if you’re paying $25 per square foot and you include those, in most leases that would add another $7 or $8 ,  not take it to $60 a square foot,” he said.    

Hitting back with a speedy response, the PLP MP charged that the FNM administration paid the lease for two years.

To that Minister D’Aguilar said he only recognized this issue because in 2018, Western Air sought a renewal and an increase to the rent to $84 per square foot.

“There is no lease. This all came through a cabinet conclusion and yes the cabinet conclusion came down on May 4th 2017.  I wasn’t even appointed until May 15th and then a week later it was paid.” 

“I didn’t know about it.  I was just getting to the Ministry of Tourism; I hadn’t even delved into that yet. 

“So this happened right at the cusp of the election.  May 4th the decision came down to pay them the money and Western Air was saying that we haven’t paid them any cash. 

“Well,  we’ve been looking at the charges that they’ve been accruing;  flying into all of the Airport Authorities, other airports, landing fees and rental fees, and we’ve been offsetting the rent that we’re obligated to pay them, this $202,000 a year against those charges,” he said. 

But Mrs. Hanna-Martin maintains the Western Air story’s simply a distraction from the $20 million contract awarded to Bahamas Hot Mix. 

She added that the Minister should instead focus on addressing the working conditions of firemen at the Lynden Pindling International Airport.  

Written by Jones Bahamas

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