Completion of Abaco Airport
MARSH HARBOUR, Abaco — Public Works and Transport Minister Neko C. Grant and officials from his Ministry signed various contracts to complete the Marsh Harbour International Airport airside project. “It is our intent to enhance the capacity of the Marsh Harbour airport facility to provide quality services to the public,” said Mr Grant during the signing ceremony at the Ministry of Education’s Conference Room last weekend.
Among the signings was a $2,241,487 change order to an existing contract with Bahamas Hot Mix for completion of the lighting, and procurement of runway and taxiway lighting at a cost of $566,387. The Minister also signed a $390,552 contract with Freeport Nursery and Garden Company for hydro-seeding, and a $114,083 contract with US-based company Jeppesen for redesign and publication of instrument flight procedures.
“The works to be undertaken will reduce negative visual impact and minimize dust interference by the placement of hydro-seeding on side slopes along drainage ditches,” said Mr Grant. “The contract will entail the hydro-seed installation and maintenance.”
The upgrading of the Marsh Harbour airside operations began March 2007 with the grant of a $3,068,470 contract to Bahamas Hot Mix to construct a new taxi-way and re-surface the existing runway, Mr Grant explained. It subsequently became apparent that there was a need to revise the original plans which increased the cost to $8,209,091, he said.
The contracts were welcomed by Edison Key, the Member of Parliament for South Abaco and executive chairman of Bahamas Agricultural an Industrial Corporation and, Chief Councillor Cubel Davis. Mr. Key said Abaco is unique among the other islands in the Bahamas because of its yachting and second-homeownership industries. When the new airport facility is completed, he said, Abaco can look forward to more second homeowners coming.
Mr Davis said the new airport facilities are “very important” to Abaco’s growth and development and will have “a positive impact” on its economy.
Mr. Grant said he will return soon to advise of plans for a new terminal and tower control and to receive input on those plans. Mr. Grant’s team included Permanent Secretary, Colin Higgs; Acting Director of Works, Gordon Major; the Ministry of Works’ area engineer for Abaco John Schaefer; and Captain Patrick Rolle, Director of the Department of Civil Aviation. They were accompanied by Senior Administrator for the Central Abaco District, Cephas Cooper.