By NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Business reporter nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net THE Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) is aiming to conclude negotiations for a $25 million hotel and office/conference centre at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) by 2011 year-end, having received the "green light" from the Airport Authority Board. Confirming that NAD was getting closer to concluding discussions with the developers, president and chief executive, Stewart Steeves, said: "We are in discussion with hotel developers and we are getting closer to the conclusion of those. "In fact, NAD's board a few weeks ago gave us the green light to conclude those negotiations, but we are not yet at the stage where we can make that announcement. It's not yet finalised. It's imminent. We expect that at the end of the year we should be in a position to make a formal announcement." Tribune Business revealed in October that the 108-room hotel and conference centre aimed to create between 100-150 full-time jobs. The developers, who own The Atlantic Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, are looking to construct the hotel on a three-acre site immediately to the south of Windsor Field Road, right between the two entrance and exit roundabouts for LPIA. They are seeking to construct a facility of 'four-star' standard, rather than the typical 'two-star' airport hotel, targeting the private aviation market and foreign directors of Bahamas-based companies who fly into LPIA for Board and other meetings. Meanwhile, construction on phase II of LPIA's $409.5 million redevelopment is 36 per cent complete, Mr Steeves said, adding that $37.8 million worth of work had been awarded to Bahamian contractors for this stage. The second phase, which began in March 2011, calls for the selective demolition of the current US Departures terminal, the construction of a 226,000 square foot international arrivals terminal and international departures pier, the removal and rebuilding of existing parking facilities and about 200,000 square feet of asphalt apron rehabilitation. Mr Steeves said phase II is on schedule for a Fall 2012 completion, adding that there were currently 201 workers on employed on site. Some 66 per cent of the construction force is Bahamian. "Once completed there will be a 21 per cent increase in overall terminal size, allowing for 51 per cent increase in passenger capacity. Also, there is provision for a 100 per cent increase in security capacity and 10 aircraft bridges upon opening, combined with four swing gate bridges," Mr Steeves said. He added that eight aircraft bridges would be available for US departures, an increase of 60 per cent, and six bridges available for international departures, a 200 per cent increase. The NAD chief said the overall redevelopment of LPIA is 60 per cent complete, with $84.8 million worth of contracts awarded to Bahamian firms to-date, accounting for about one-third of the total. Mr Steeves also noted that some 200 jobs had been created in retail, as well as food and beverage expansion, at LPIA. The first phase of the four-year project was the $198 million construction of the 247,000 square foot US departure terminal and pier. Mr Steeves explained that under the current $128 million phase II, the existing structural elements of what used to be the US departures terminal are being reused. He said the savings value of retaining the structure was about $10 million. "There is also the advantage of reusing the existing site. That has a value we haven't yet quantified," he added. Phase III, the construction of a new domestic terminal, will commence immediately upon completion of Phase II at the cost of some $71.98 million.


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