The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Renewal, Philip Brave Davis said that “certain delays” are causing the government to put off again the opening of the Marsh Harbour International Airport Terminal until “some other issues” are addressed.
The new Marsh Harbour international airport terminal will not open this month as expected and Mr. Davis noted that a technical team from the Ministry of Works came to Abaco to assess the airport’s deficiencies and expects a report within a week.
“They thought they had everything under control when I first announced that it would be done in January, but I’m now advised because of certain delays that they have to put it off again because there are some other issues that have to be addressed,” Mr. Davis said. “They have not specifically said design flaws, but some redesigns have to be done to meet what I call airport requirements.”
He said he would be able to give a definitive date for the airport’s opening after the technical team briefs him.
Mr. Davis could not say how much the delay would cost government but noted that the project’s contingency fund is nearly used up.
According to a Nassau Guardian report, Director of Works John Canton said that the airport terminal may now open sometime in February; however, the date was not set in stone.
According to Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin, her ministry has completed its tasks to get the airport ready for operation and has approved hiring.
“I know that from my side we have done our interviews for engagement of security and surveillance officers, etc., and the equipment has been installed and there has been training, but the actual construction is [up to] the Ministry of Works,” she said.
“The urgent need to open this new terminal is compounded by the profound inadequacy of the current terminal and the gross inconvenience to passengers using that terminal,” she said in the House of Assembly.
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.”
He said, “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.”
On January 13, 2014 James Edgecombe, Partner in FES Construction, said that the work that remains to be done entails relocating the generator and energy system for the runway lighting to the control tower and the final paving of the tarmac in front of the terminal building. He said the interior works were “minor cosmetic” adjustments.
In May 27, 2013 Mr. Davis announced that the revised terminal (not inclusive of the new freight building and runway extension) will cost $30.8 million and the completion date for the revision was set for August 2013.
In July 5, 2013 Mr. Davis said they are completing the “punch list” and gave an eight week timetable for completion. At that time he said changes had been authorized to commence. He also added that they are looking at adding at least an additional 600 feet to accommodate larger aircraft.
In August 2013 Work on airport perimeter fencing started; however, the Airport Terminal Building contractor had not received mobilization for the changes to be done.
In September 26, 2013 Mr. Davis told Abaco Business Outlook attendees of “vexing technical issues” that will delay Terminal’s opening, and on October 22, 2013 Mrs. Hanna-Martin noted in the House of Assembly that the Marsh Harbour Airport Terminal would open in January of 2014.