While progress on contracts signed in May for peripheral works at the Marsh Harbour international Airport are now under way, progress on the terminal continues to be delayed as FES Construction Company waits for government approval and mobilization on change orders that were known since December 2012.
As of August 12 progress can be seen as the perimeter fence is now under way and the security booth for the control tower appears to be half-way finished after some initial delays. However, the re-routing of the runway light controls and the installation of the generator at the control tower, along with adjustments to the interior of the new terminal building have been set back due to delays in acquiring government approval and mobilization.
In January the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Renewal, Philip ‘Brave’ Davis said that there were things not taken into consideration in the original design and that these components would prevent the opening of the airport as it would not meet the standards to become an international airport.
On January 11, 2013 Mr. Davis said. “Those designs are almost complete; hence the airport opening will be delayed for another three to four months. Whatever there is to fix, we will fix it.”
However, in July work was not yet completed and during a visit to Abaco on July 5 Mr. Davis said that they are addressing what they call the “punch list” at the moment and added that “The challenge they have at the moment is relocating the generator and the energy system for the lighting of the airport which is now going to be placed in the [control] tower, which was not part of the original plan.”
At the time he said that the government reviewed the change order for the work to be done and assessed the additional costs and said that the work has been authorized to commence and “it is hoped that it will not cause any inordinate delays.”
According to one of the partners of FES Construction Company, James Edgecombe, the terminal has passed electrical and plumbing inspections and is waiting on building and fire inspections. He added that the Control Tower Equipment had also been tested and is operational.
He indicated that the remaining work to be done along with the necessary training need for the staff and management of the terminal, and also the setting up of the ticket counters and shops would likely push the opening back to November or December.
Care Landscaping, the company hired to do the landscaping at the airport, has also faced delays in being able to carry out maintenance due to a lack of payment from government.
Nick Mailis, one of the owners of Care Landscaping, said that he hopes finances are appropriated soon so that they can address the now overgrown grass at the airport. “We are apologetic and embarrassed that we have not been able to continue with keeping the landscaping looking as good as we are capable of doing; however, there is only so much we can do without being paid.”