James Edgecombe, partner in FES Construction Company, called a recent meeting with Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin and relevant agencies “fruitful” and indicated that they are hopeful that the Marsh Harbour International Airport Terminal will be completed by mid-2013.
The meeting came in the wake of recent statements from Mrs. Hanna-Martin in which it was said the terminal faced delays in completion due to “logistic and design issues.”
“For example, the air traffic control tower has no electrical power, no facility was made for electrical power; things of that nature have caused the opening of that airport to be set back,” Mrs. Hanna-Martin said.
“There are also some other aspects of design which I have been disappointed by in terms of efficiency, energy conservation, whether or not the airport can sustain itself. These are the issues that we are now dealing with, but one of the major issues was the tower.”
Mr. Edgecombe said that there were some misunderstandings; however, they got sorted out in a meeting with the contractor and Mrs. Hanna-Martin in Nassau on December 10.
He said that “by now we thought we should have been completed this project but some of the department heads have changed and those that are taking over have come in with new ideas which they say will make the project move even smoother including the FAA and input from Civil Aviation.”
He stated that there are changes and upgrades those agencies would like to see and needs to be taken into account by the government requiring approval from cabinet so that they can fund those alterations.
“Mrs. Hanna-Martin said some things in relation to these changes that weren’t explained the way it really is,” Mr. Edgecombe said. During their meeting they were able to clear up some misconceptions. “It was a fruitful meeting and all the parties involved got a better understanding of what is going on here on the project.”
He indicated that some of the construction left to be done is where the changes are and can’t be completed until they get approval and funds for them.
The extension of the parking area (tarmac) is being delayed as the wiring for the approach lights runs along the edge of the current tarmac. Civil Aviation came and inspected and gave recommendations. They will have to reroute the wiring in order to prevent future problems.
They also discussed the flooding at the airport and the need for more drain wells. He also suggested to the government to have in place a management group for the airport to take care of the necessary maintenance and service of the airport terminal.
Mr. Edgecombe said “We are satisfied that we can complete the building in five to six months when the changes are approved.” He said FES could complete their work in about three months and the various agencies would be able to finalize their work in the following two months.
“As explained in yesterday’s meeting, because of the limitation to BEC on the out islands that kind of work [running the electrical cable from the utility pole to the control tower] is subcontracted out because they don’t have the volume of people to do the work,” he noted.
He said in response to the rumor that the control tower is too short that “in the scope of works on the plan that is the height of the tower – if it was supposed to be taller… we are not the experts on that.”
They have been asked to fence the airport in and to clear another 100 feet so the tower will have full visibility of the runway.