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View From Afar: A Gold Mine In The Sky

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John Issa

By JOHN ISSA

The Bahamas, like other tourist destinations in the region, earns income from sun, sand and sea.

There is however another ‘S’ from which we can earn. That ‘S’ is the Sky.

We have more sea and sky than we have land mass. From the sea we reap benefits from fishing, tourism and recreation. Hopefully, one day we will earn from petroleum and natural gas. However, we have not exploited the economic potential of our vast and strategically located airspace.

We have a capitalist economy but we could learn a little capitalism from our communist neighbours, Cuba. Cuba charges aircraft for the use of their airspace.

Every time a small aircraft uses Cuban airspace, it has to pay 75 euros or an annual fee of €2,628 for unlimited use. I don’t know what they charge large commercial aircraft or how much they earn for the year but I am sure it is a great deal.

Why don’t we do the same as the Cubans? The massive number of aircraft that have to cross Bahamian airspace every day to get a direct route to their destination would effectively be showering dollars on to our treasury. If nothing else, it could ease the tax burden on our taxpayers.

I suspect that these overfly fees would add up to tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars.

• John Issa is executive chairman of SuperClubs. He is writing regularly in The Tribune.

Comments

birdiestrachan 3 years, 1 month ago

Mrs. Hanna Martin has put this in place already.=======================/s

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Ironworker 3 years, 1 month ago

This is an insane idea. Why would the Bahamas do anything to turn away tourist. The Family Islands are begging for plane loads of tourist. The competition for Tourist Dollars is becoming extremely fierce internationally. The outcry against the customs fees for aircraft was deafening. Start charging for use of airspace on top of the Flats Fishing Regulation and the Bahamas Family Islands may as well put out a "CLOSED" sign.

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DDK 3 years, 1 month ago

The global imperialists are charging commercial aircraft over-flight fees for transitioning their airspace. I believe we may or may not have submitted to join this club in a timely basis. I think we were actually paying the U.S. FAA for flying in our own airspace!

This is one thing. Charging light aircraft for coming to visit our country is another.

Hopefully our beautiful islands and will never be exploited and destroyed by the imperialists for petroleum and natural gas. I know they have been sniffing around..........

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 1 month ago

The United States has the last say when it comes to fees for our airspace ...... That agreement was in place long before we became independent ........ Can we police our airspace?????? Just look at our ability to police our streets .... homes .... docks ..... fishing grounds .... deserted rocks and cays ...... Family Islands ..... and exclusive economic zone .......... Can Uncle Sam trust us with airspace that is critical to their national and military security??????

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Bonefishpete 3 years, 1 month ago

What happens when the Bahamian Air Traffic Controllers all call in sick the next work stoppage? Air Traffic from Bahamas all the way southeast to Caribbean and South America would stop flying. Then again with great cost and delay they could pay Cuba to handle the over flights.

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