By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
NASSAU Airport Development (NAD) executives projected more than 24,000 arrivals at the Lynden Pindling International airport this Easter holiday weekend during which The Bahamas played host to the 42nd annual Carifta games.
According to the numbers provided to Tribune Business by NAD, during the Easter holiday period – from Thursday to Monday – 24,671 international arrivals were projected along with 21,727 US departures during the same period. Domestic arrivals were projected at 5,087 and departures at 5,026. In 2012, NAD reported 24,381 international arrivals and 21,545 US departures. Carifta organisers told Tribune Business yesterday that a total of 556 athletes from 26 countries were expected to participate in the Carifta games with approximately 120 officials also expected to attend the event. Sky Bahamas president and chief executive recently told Tribune Business passenger volumes for his airline this Easter weekend were projected to be up 3 per cent year-over-year, with load factors averaging 80 per cent “all around”.
NAD signed a 30-year lease with the Government in April 2007 to manage daily operations at LPIA, and is responsible for most of the physical infrastructure, including parking lots, terminals, runways and taxiways. Construction on stage III of LPIA – the final stage of the $409.5 million expansion project – is more than 40 per cent complete, with more than $13 million having been injected into the Bahamian economy through the procurement of local services. Stage III calls for the construction of the domestic and international check-in hall and domestic arrival facility, is set for completion in autumn this year. Construction on stage three began in October 2012. The facility is being constructed by the Canadian firm Ledcor, in partnership with Woslee Construction of Nassau. Stage one of the LPIA expansion saw the design, construction and opening of a new US Departure Terminal, inclusive of 19 new retail and food outlets. Stage two of the LPIA expansion project included the construction of a new international arrival terminal that opened last October.