Nassau Airport Costs 5-10% Above Rivals

Wednesday, 30 September 2009 00:00 News Editor
The redesigned Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) will have been one of the most complicated terminals in the Caribbean to build when completed, the Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) president and chief executive said yesterday, but will still be cost competitive at only 5-10 per cent above competing hubs.

Craig Richmond said with the US pre-clearance facility, and the domestic and international departures lounges interfaced with a $26 million baggage system, LPIA will be on of the most modern and complex airports within a 2,500 mile circle.

He said the new airport was expected to start seeing a return on investment as early as 2013, following the opening of the new US departure terminal and completion of the redevelopment of what will have been the old US departure lounge.

The costly baggage system will have state-of-the-art security features, which will be scrutinised and evaluated by the US-based Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), the body that has been providing screening and security for airports across the US following the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Speaking at the Rotary Club of Nassau's weekly luncheon, Mr Richmond suggested the new airport's design will allow for a more fluid transfer between US arrivals and domestic departures, though the onus will be on local air carriers to affix schedules convenient to incoming international passengers.

In keeping with the Bahamas' commitment to become more energy efficient, NAD has incorporated an uber efficient air management system using a subterranean cooling system, which will use ground level air diffusers throughout the airport terminal.

According to Mr Richmond, the airport will also collect and store rainwater through a collection system built into the structure's roof. Water collected will be used for flushing toilets and other non-potable applications.

He lamented that because of the enormous power needs of an airport, alternative energy sources will not be used to supply power. However, Mr Richmond is certain the high efficiency cooling system will subsidise some energy costs in the long run.

NAD recently released several Requests for Proposal (RFP) for food and beverage vendors for the new US departure lounge.

Mr Richmond said the company has received numerous responses to the RFPs, which will be assessed by a panel. Vendors could be chosen as early as next month.

He said that a main contractor has been chosen for the development, who has since released RFPs for sub-contractors for the project. "I think Bahamians will be very proud when we are done," said Mr Richmond.

Source: The Tribune