Grand Bahama airport takeover expected ‘in weeks’

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.


Tribune Freeport Reporter


THE signing for the government’s takeover of the Grand Bahama International Airport is expected in “a matter of weeks,” with the sale of the Grand Lucayan Resort to come soon after, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis revealed on Friday while in Grand Bahama.

His comments came during the recommissioning of the first phase redevelopment of the Rand Memorial Hospital, which is undergoing renovation following major flood damage during Hurricane Dorian.

Dr Minnis indicated his anticipation of returning to Grand Bahama to sign the deals for the airport and the hotel in Lucaya.

He said: “I look forward to seeing you very soon as I return in a matter of weeks to sign and take over the airport services here in Grand Bahama. And shortly after that, I hope to return very soon where we will sign the hotel, Our Lucaya, over to the new official owners.”

In March 2020, the government signed a heads of agreement with Royal Caribbean International and the ITM Group for the purchase and redevelopment of the three hotels at Grand Lucayan and Freeport Harbour.

Holistica Destinations, the joint venture group formed between RCI and ITM, proposed to transform the Grand Lucayan into a world-class destination with water-based entertainment, including a massive water and adventure theme park. Other amenities proposed included a shopping village that will feature a variety of activities and family entertainment, and a 40,000 sq ft convention centre.

The second component will involve the redevelopment of the harbour into a new cruise facility, with three new additional berths capable of accommodating the largest cruise ships in the world. There will be a harbour village, comprising shopping outlets, restaurants, beach and wellness areas, and a multi-modern transportation hub, with infrastructure for water ferries and ground transportation.

The Grand Bahama International Airport, which sustained severe damage during Dorian, is also in need of major redevelopment.

The government has agreed to acquire the airport for $1 from the Grand Bahama Port Authority and Hutchison Whampoa. The asset will be transferred to the Airport Authority, which will also assume a portion of staff related costs which are not expected to exceed $1 million.

Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar indicated that once the transaction is completed, the airport will be owned by the AA and redeveloped and managed by the SPV, similar in concept to the Nassau Airport Development Company Ltd. That SPV will be charged with redevelopment, rebuilding, and making the new airport in Freeport, far more resilient against significant weather events such as hurricanes.

Minister of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson has indicated that several investors are interested in entering into a public-private partnership with the government to redevelop the airport in Grand Bahama.

The redevelopment and reopening of both the airport and hotel will revive the island’s tourism sector, which has been significantly affected over the past 18 months.


birdiestrachan 2 years, 5 months ago

The GB Airport cost them one dollar Plus the severance pay and whatever the cost is to repair the airport.

Hutchison has taken them to the cleaners AGAIN.

Now doc says he is coming to GRAND Bahama in a few weeks to sign the Airport deal and then after that another few weeks to sign the hotel deal.

Doc should tell the Bahamian people why did they spend so much money to buy a hotel Then sell it for less than they paid Government in the sunshine is more like corruption in broad daylight.


moncurcool 2 years, 5 months ago

Maybe you should stop being so beholden to a political party and become beholden to your country.

Hutchison held all the cards in the deal. They could have chosen not to sell and then just closed the airport down. This was clearly a no win situation for the government. No government, irrespective of the party in power, could have done better.

You don't believe it? Ask the operator of Memories what Hutchinson did to then to cause Memories to fold.

Let's stop being political and look at the fact that we as a country have not taken the lead to invest in our own nation, but always want someone else to do it. Then we blame the government when it does not work. Maybe it is time we start looking in the mirror ourselves.

I'm done posting. I'm about making a difference and doing something!


tribanon 2 years, 5 months ago

You need to start asking yourself how is it the corrupt Minnis-led administration allows Hutchison Whampoa, an enterprise effectively controlled by the CCP, get away with whatever concessions and secretive deals they want in our country while we Bahamians always end up getting royally screwed left, right and centre?


JokeyJack 2 years, 5 months ago

Agree totally, it was best to buy it and now we have it instead of Hutchinson. However, what would really be icing on the cake would be to pass a law in the House that forbids both government and all private/public businesses (everyone / everything) in the Bahamas from entering into any deal whatsoever (business or otherwise) with the Chinese. Should any deals be found to be signed / entered into on any date after the Law is passed then the Bahamas person will face 5 years in prison and $500,000 fine. It's one thing to make a mistake - but it is truly silly to make the mistake again. The Law would also have to cover cases of "front men" or front corporations that seem to be Bahamian or from wherever, but the money actually ties back to China. Once revealed, then the judge's hammer comes down on them. So the law would need to include Hong Kong since they are no longer independent, and maybe we could show our intelligence and lead the world for once by including Taiwan by saying "they gonna fall in the near future anyway, so we can save ourselves time amending." We've always known that the Chinaman can make a dollar out of fifteen cents - but only in the last decade or so have we (the entire world) learned that it is YOUR fifteen cents they making it out of, not theirs. LOL.


birdiestrachan 2 years, 5 months ago

it is all about politics. it is not Sunday school


Bobsyeruncle 2 years, 5 months ago

But like Moncur said to you, it doesn't have to be about politics. Let it be Birdie, and try and enjoy a non-political life - who knows you might enjoy it !


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