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The country continues to make efforts to take over its airspace according to Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar yesterday. 

The former PLP administration made the initial plan to claim the airspace which is currently managed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. 

Mr. D’Aguilar said,  “As you would know, the Americans  presently manages our airspace, but that’s not a formal relationship. That was kind of a handshake that was done back in 1952 when we were a part of the British Empire, we were a colony of Great Britain.” 

He added, “now  what we want to do is we want to formalize that relationship. We want to say look, this is our sovereign airspace. We get to decide who’s managing it and we get to decide what the over flight fees will be. Let’s establish that in our sovereign air apace.” 

The Minister of Tourism also said that they have begun dialogue with the Americans on the matter and they have been very supportive of this notion. 

The former administration claimed that the country misses out on $30 million annually in over flight fees, however, the Minister of Tourism clarified the capacity in which these fees can be used. 

He said,  “Over flight fees, let me be perfectly clear, cannot be used to build roads and build hospitals. It can only go towards strengthening and making more robust our air navigation system, so that when planes fly through our air space, it continues to be a service that maintains a high level of safety.” 

Former Prime Minister Perry Christie’s administration began these negotiations with the FAA back in 2014.

These negotiations included the paying a management fee to the FAA, collecting over flight fees by The Bahamas, and calling to manage the country’s air apace for 10 years until it prepares itself to manage on its own. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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