Grand Bahama International Airport is set to welcome its first international commercial flight - post Hurricane Dorian - on November 15.
Godfrey Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Port Holdings, Bahamas said of the proposed opening date: “Thankfully, the airport’s runway sustained no damage, but that does not mean that resuming operations will be an easy task.”
Since the passage of Dorian airport personnel have had to work under tented facilities provided by NEMA and the airport only allowed for travel in and out of Freeport for NGOs (non-governmental organizations), aid and other personnel, as well as urgently needed relief supplies.
Bahamasair and Western Air have already resumed services in temporary facilities for domestic travel, which are running well as an interim solution.
Acting Chairman of the GBPA, Sarah St. George, said: “Our main goal is to reopen the International Airport facilities and welcome international commercial flights again.”
News of the airport's full reopening comes amid suggestions from the Opposition Progressive Liberal Party Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Finance, Chester Cooper, for the government to buy Grand Bahama airport.
His suggestion came alongside complaints from the general manager of the Pelican Bay Resort, Magnus Alnebeck, who told Tribune Business last month that Hutchison Port Holdings with Port Group Ltd has a history off failing to repair hurricane-ravaged Freeport assets and further suggested that both the government and prospective Grand Lucayan hotel purchasers should inquire whether a buy-out was possible.
Also earlier this month, Grand Lucayan chairman, Michael Scott, told Tribune Business he backs government control over the airport and that it was "plain" that a "new regime" is required for an asset that essentially provides a key economic lifeline for Freeport and the wider island.