Categorized | National News

Int’l Firm Conducts Study on Airports, Says Hanna-Martin

The government has hired an international firm, Stantec Consulting Limited to conduct an optimization study on all Family Island airports, according to Minister of Transport Glenys Hanna- Martin.

“They are now in the process of reviewing all of these airports and to make recommendations as to how the airports can meet the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards but additionally how they can be self sustaining economically so that they are less of a challenge or a strain on the public treasury,” she said.

Minister Hanna-Martin went on to explain the challenges of maintaining the country’s airports.

“We have 28 government owned airports and they are all funded by the public treasury and they’re competing for funds that are used for roads, hospitals and schools so it’s a major challenge from the state’s point of view in maintaining these airports,” she said.

“Eighteen of those airports are ports of entry which means that they’re even more challenging because ports of entry require security of certain status and they’re very capital intensive in terms of money and resources.”

Stantec Consulting provides professional consulting in planning, engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management, and project economics.

The firm is working along with technical experts in The Bahamas who will also advise the government on security measures, construction, redesigning, effective energy and water usage.

So far security equipment has been installed and upgraded in several Family Island airports, Mrs. Hanna-Martin said that once the study is completed, significant physical upgrades and construction to all Family Island airports would unfold within 24 months.

The Mayaguana Airport’s runway was recently refurbished and outfitted with emergency lights following the tragic death of three people who used their vehicle lights to assist an emergency aircraft in landing in April 2013.

There are currently four Family Islands still in need of runway lights at their airports.

Those islands are Rum Cay, Ragged Island, Stella Maris Long Island and Fresh Creek Andros.

Mrs. Hanna Martin said that those islands will be outfitted with emergency lights within a few weeks.

“The tenders board has just approved the contract for the installation of these lights, the lights are in storage ready to be installed,” she said.

“After these last four airports, Long Island, Rum Cay, Ragged Island and Fresh Creek Andros, we should have a comprehensive coverage in terms of airports equipped for emergency landing and this is a huge paradigm from what existed from up to 7 years ago, culturally that practice is now being eliminated.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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