Friday, October 18, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
The Nassau Airport Development Co (NAD) officially completed the transformation of the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) into a state-of-the-art facility last night, welcoming hundreds of Bahamians to the new Domestic Departures & Arrivals, and International Departures Terminal.
“Now that we have completed the construction stage of this redevelopment, the real work begins—ensuring that passengers utilizing our facilities have experiences at LPIA that are as amazing as the physical buildings they are moving through,” said Vernice Walkine, NAD’s president and chief executive officer, who used her brief remarks at the official opening to thank the hundreds of workers, individuals and agencies who helped the company bring to a successful close one of the largest infrastructure projects ever seen in the Caribbean region.
As the main international gateway to The Bahamas, services include scheduled and charter flights to the US, Canada, Europe and Latin America. In 2012, the airport served 3.3 million passengers.
It was in July 2009, that officials broke ground on stage one of the three-phase airport redevelopment and construction project. Since then, the project has weathered a global recession, two hurricanes and a change of government.
Despite these difficulties, NAD was able to deliver three state-of-the-art terminals, “smartly engineered, beautifully appointed, and that will serve this country for many years to come,” said George Casey, president and chief executive officer, Vantage Airport Group, which manages NAD–a Bahamian company owned by the government.
Prime Minister Perry Christie said he intends to take the “NAD model” created at the LPIA, and implement it at other airports on the Family Islands.
“Under the direction of the Airport Authority, we have embarked upon an ambitious programme to upgrade and manage our network of airports to adequately keep pace with the level of developments taking place on each island,” he said.
The airport, he added, “signals the country’s progress and confidence in the future.”
This year marked 13 years since the passing of Sir Lynden Pindling, whom the airport is named after.
Pindling served as Prime Minister of The Bahamas for nearly 26 years, during which time he led the country to Black Majority Rule on January 10, 1967, and later Independence from Great Britain on July 10, 1973.
“On behalf of our entire family we wish to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to everyone responsible for this occasion today,” said Sir Lynden’s daughter, Monique Pindling-Johnson in her remarks.
With the completion of the third and final stage, the airport increased in size by 24 per cent. It is now capable of accommodating 50 per cent more passengers, with a capacity of more than five million. It employs 2,600 locals.
The airport partnered with the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas to feature 12 art cases within the international departure and arrival corridors. The exhibition changes every six months. To date, more than $2 million has been invested in Bahamian art at the airport.