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The following is a timeline of over a decade of promises and delays as residents of Abaco wait for the new Airport Terminal and Air Traffic Control Tower that has been a sore point for locals for much longer.

Airport Timeline


The following is a timeline of over a decade of promises and delays as residents of Abaco wait for the new Airport Terminal and Air Traffic Control Tower that has been a sore point for locals for much longer.

Even now this critical facility to the island’s economy is the subject of scrutiny and angst especially during the economic downturn of the last few years.

November 1, 2000 • Upgrade planned within a few weeks for Marsh Harbour International Airport terminal

Extend front and rear sections of existing terminal

The nine ticketing counters will be extended and refurbished

Seating areas upgraded

More lavatories installed

Entire building air-conditioned

Snack bar expanded

Lights and navigational aids will be installed for illuminating the runway including approach lights, taxiway lights and ramp flood lights to enable night flights

GPS navigation station installed for increased navigational aid for aviators

The much needed control tower was to be constructed in 2001 as part of the expanded airport

Increased security officers and police will monitor airports entrances and exits.

September 2006 • Government announces a $10 million facelift to Marsh Harbour Airport Terminal and includes traffic control tower.

New Terminal to be about 20,000 square feet.

Designed by aviation experts Kelsey and Edwards in conjunction with Bahamian architect and planner, Mr. Bruce LeFleur

Includes new access road and adequate provision for parking. The planned works to the terminal building and its ancillaries are estimated to cost $5.5 million.

The $10 million would include improved airside area, expanded terminal, access road and parking, new air traffic control tower, and a new fire station building

March 2007 • $3 million contract signed by Bahamas Hot Mix (BHM) for new Taxi-way and to resurface the existing runway.

Amendments and additions were made later, including:

$2.2 million change order for BHM

Runway lighting – $566,387

Hydro Seeding – $390,552

Jeppesen – $114,083 for redesign and publication of instrument flight procedures.

New increase – $8,209,091

May 21, 2009 • Government signed contract with Vancouver Airport Services for the design of the Marsh Harbour Terminal and Air Traffic Control Tower. The plans were later scrapped.

July 30, 2010 • Architects Inc. in Freeport awarded contract to design plans for Marsh Harbour Airport Terminal and Control Tower for $600,000

Initially planned to be a 24,000 sq. foot building

September 3, 2010 • Airport Drawings presented to local Stakeholders by Minister of Works Neko Grant.

Expected to start by years end

Expected to cost $12 million

30,000 square foot Terminal and Air Traffic Control Tower

September 5, 2010 • Stakeholders send observations requesting amendments to plans

September 24, 2010 • Meeting held with revised plans. Mr. Grant Accompanied by Architect Donald Dean

Plans expand from 24,000 sq. ft. to 39,000 sq. ft.

Expected cost rises from $12 million to $15 million

Expected start date moved to beginning of 2011

Stakeholders accept amendments

Fall 2011 • Contract for $27.3 million for Construction awarded to FES Construction – completion date set for October 2012

September 1, 2011 • Ground broken – completion time expected to be 10 months (Approximately July 2012)

April 2012 • FES tells press they are 60-70% complete and expect to finish in about 5 months (September 2012)

December 12, 2012 • Minister of Transport Glenys Hanna-Martin says cost overruns will amount to about $11.9 million

Included in estimate are a $6 million runway extension, $3.8 million to build a freight building, $230,000 for that building’s architectural fees and $1.9 million in other architectural fees.

January 2013 • Minister of Works Philip Brave Davis says that adjustments are “almost complete” and that the new terminal will be delayed just three or four months (about April 2013)

May 27, 2013 • Minister of Works Philip Brave Davis announces revised Terminal will cost $30.8 million

Revised completion set for August 2013

July 5, 2013 • Minister of Works Philip Brave Davis says they are completing the “punch list” and gave an eight week timetable for completion.

He said changes had been authorized to commence

He said they are looking at adding at least an additional 600 feet to accommodate larger aircrafts

August 2013 • Work on airport perimeter fencing started. Airport Terminal Building contractor has not received mobilization for works changes to be done.

September 26, 2013 • Minister of Works Philip Brave Davis tells Abaco Business Outlook of Vexing Technical Issues that will delay Terminal’s opening.

October 22, 2013 • Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin says in the House of Assembly that the Marsh Harbour Airport Terminal will be opened in January 2014

About Timothy Roberts

Timothy had his first venture into Journalism just months after graduating from Queen’s College in Nassau taking his first job with The Tribune in 1991 leaving in 1992 for other pursuits.

During his time in Nassau he diversified his experiences working as a warehouse manager, locksmith and computer technician before returning to Abaco, a place he has always considered home, in 1999.

He joined the staff of The Abaconian in 2001 doing graphic design and writing an opinion article called Generally Speaking and after a brief time away, returned to The Abaconian in 2010 as a reporter, graphic designer and computer technician.

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