The government is anticipating some major moves forward in the aviation sector including reentering into talks with regional neighbours and the United States to redefine The Bahamas’ airspace, revealed Transportation and Aviation Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin.
The transportation and aviation minister said that ensuring that The Bahamas’ aviation sector progresses and stays on the cutting edge while not becoming a drain upon the public purse has prompted the government to review the status of the management of the country’s flight information region.
Mrs. Hanna-Martin said that the previous Christie administration went as far as preparing requests for proposals for the purchase of the necessary infrastructural and training regime for The Bahamas’ management of its own air space and it engaged in more detailed talks with the United States government.
Since returning to office on May 7, she said theses talks have since resumed.
“The issues under discussion will include the redefinition of The Bahamas airspace and the decision whether The Bahamas will, in the short term, assume full management of its airspace or seek an interim position where the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will continue to manage under an agreed arrangement with The Bahamas, which will be to our benefit,” Mrs. Hanna-Martin said.
“Our efforts in this regard will be focused and purposeful and it is our expectation that a position will be arrived at in the shortest possible time. It is anticipated that the benefits to The Bahamas that will accrue from these efforts will be significant.”
Mrs. Hanna-Martin, who is serving in her second stint as transportation and aviation minister, made her contribution to the budget debate in the House of Assembly yesterday.
Among the projects Mrs. Hanna-Martin previewed was the completion of the new terminals at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA).
“We are pleased that we will be overseeing Phases 2 and 3 representing the final phases of the terminal redevelopment,” she said. “Phase 2 is the construction of Customs and Immigration, additional boarding gates and executive officers for security and airport personnel.”
“Phase 3 will be all of the combined international flights which that are not operating in the United States along with all domestic flights. Phase 2 is expected to be completed in October of this year and phase 3 will be completed in late 2013.”