Local businessmen who have been feeling the pinch of a slowed economy are seeking to persuade the government to move more swiftly to open the New Marsh Harbour International Airport Terminal which continues to face technical delays according to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Renewal, Philip Brave Davis.
In a letter of request circulating Central Abaco this week the community is asked to sign it states:
“The New Marsh Harbour International Airport Terminal is now a year overdue to be open and the delays keep coming. The delays are not necessary and with occupancy certificates on the way (Maybe even already here) we ask the government to stop the delays and get this airport open speedily during these hard economic times. Stop delaying the benefits to the economy and people of Abaco and to the public treasury.”
When construction began on the Airport Terminal in 2011 it was projected to be finished by mid-year 2012; possibly as late as September. However, after a change in government and a review of the airport terminal, work was delayed as some “logistic and design” issues were identified by Minister of Transport and Aviation, Glenys Hanna-Martin in a December 2012.
James Edgecombe, Partner in FES Construction Company, said in January 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.”
Those changes were expected to be dealt with and completed by August but have since been pushed further back.
At the recent Abaco Business Outlook Mr. Davis apologized for the continued delays and said the Ministry of Works (MOW) has been challenged to provide all the necessary approvals to the contractor for the construction of the airport buildings “as there have been and continue to be concerns of a technical nature which do not permit the Ministry of Works and Urban Development to issue necessary approvals.”