GRAND BAHAMA, The Bahamas — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, the Hon. Chester Cooper said the cornerstone of any thriving economy is its connectivity to the world, and the heart of this connectivity lies in the nation’s airports. 

“Last year, you heard me say you were getting your airport, and you are indeed getting your airport. Despite the prophets of doom amongst you, the winning bidder is progressing steadily,” DPM Cooper said during the Grand Bahama Business Outlook held at the Grand Lucayan Convention Center on Thursday, February 22, 2024.

He explained that it is a complicated consortium and there are a lot of lawyers involved. 

The DPM said the Grand Bahama International Airport will undergo a transformative construction phase that promises to redefine the island’s access to global opportunities. 

“I can tell you definitively that the partnership with Manchester Airport Group, renowned for their expertise and innovation in airport management, is a testament to the ambitious scope of this project.  We have executed an agreement with them.” 

He noted that their mandate to update the business plan and complete conceptual designs within the next 45 days has set the stage for a facility that will not only meet international standards but exceed them. 

DPM Cooper said the mock-up designs are not just blueprints; they are a vision of efficiency, beauty, and innovation, in line with the feel and culture of GBI.

He said the involvement of a local Grand Bahama construction company for the demolition phase, commencing within the next 30 days underscores the Government’s dedication to empowering local businesses and integrating them into the fabric of its developmental narrative. 

“We anticipate that when the vertical construction begins, it will move quickly. We are still hopeful for completion in 2025.”

The DPM said, “In the recently executed Pre-clearance agreement with the United States, we have left the flexibility to add the return of Freeport pre-clearance, which will enhance the economy and create a much greater ease of travel for Grand Bahamians.”

He explained that the Government is also planning for the introduction of a digital immigration card in The Bahamas, following the Immigration Amendment Act, a forward-thinking initiative that promises to enhance the efficiency of the immigration process, improve national security, boost tourism, and align The Bahamas with global digital trends. 

DPM Cooper said this represents a significant step in modernizing the country’s immigration system, offering benefits to travellers, residents, and the Bahamian government alike. 

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