COURTESY CALL ON THE PRIME MINISTER - Representatives of Bahamas Aviation, Climate & Severe Weather Network Ltd (BACSWN) and Raytheon Technologies (Raytheon, Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace) paying a courtesy call on the Most Honourable Dr. Hubert Minnis, M.P., Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas; Permanent Secretary to the Office of Prime Minister, Mr. David Davis, Office of the Prime Minister’s Senior Policy Advisor, Mr. Joshua Sears, Chief Executive Officer of Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, Mrs. Viana Gardiner, and PM’s Director of Communications, Mrs. Erica Cox at the Cabinet Office some months back. ( FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Mr. Robert Dupuch-Carron, Founder/Director BACSWN, Mr. Matt Gilligan, Vice-President Intelligence, Space, Navigation, information & Weather Services ( Ret.); Prime Minister, Most Honourable Dr. Hubert Minnis, M.P., and Mr. Eugene Welch, Sr. Director of Air Traffic Control Systems at Raytheon Intelligence, Space, Navigation Information and Weather Services Division.
BAHAMAS Aviation, Climate & Severe Weather Network (BACSWN) is delighted to announce that following its recent designation as ‘Meteorological Weather Authority’ for International Civil Aviation; alongside, instructions contained in the Cabinet Conclusion — provided by Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar to Eileen Dupuch-Carron, CMG, LLb, on February 14, 2020 — it has commenced the process of filing notice with the FAA, ICAO and IATA of its intention to stand-up, fund and staff our nation’s first ‘Meteorological Watch Office’ with “the necessary technical and operational expertise to maintain a continuous 24/7/365 real-time watch over the weather conditions affecting any flight or vessel operations within the 183,00 sq miles The Bahamas’ sovereign archipelagic baselines, territorial seas, contiguous and exclusive economic zone (EEZ).”
In conveying their sincere thanks and gratitude to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Cabinet and Cabinet Select Committee for their unwavering support of its 100 percent Bahamian designed Aviation, Climate, Coastal, Marine, Meteorological, Navigation, 3D Terrain, Street & Chart Mapping and Severe Weather Sensing Network connected to its patent pending Convergence Centre on Shirley Street - which Raytheon, Pratt & Whitney & Collins Aerospace have gone on record as saying will be the “‘First-Of-Its-Kind’ Transformational Weather System… exceeding that of any other industrialized nation” - BACSWN’s leadership laments the fact they’ve now had to put on hold the hiring of almost 800 carpenters, masons, plumbers, electricians and other skilled and unskilled workers. Scores of others with skills ranging from UX/UI design, collaboration with the Department of Meteorology and secondment of Meteorologists, Air Traffic Controllers and other data/IT management specialists are also on hold.
In a blistering critique of what they contend is Attorney General Carl Bethel’s apparent indifference to signing off on Bahamas Aviation, Climate & Severe Weather Network’s Heads of Agreement – despite the Cabinet Select Committee tasked with negotiating such matters by Prime Minister Minnis having forwarded its glowing recommendations on the $427M project almost a year ago - BACSWN’s Executive Chairman, Eileen Dupuch-Carron and its Founder/director, Robert Dupuch-Carron said in a joint statement:
“We usually adopt a policy of ignoring individuals who hurl tirades full of childish pejorative insults. However, once in a while there arrives such scathing, crass, vacuous, self-indulging utterances that in the emotional universe where most of us reside, such comments go so far beyond the realm of ridiculous to a similar category, dare we say, of being on the receiving end of attacks that are similar to that of being ‘ravaged by a dead sheep’ - from which no semblance of dignity - nor validity - could ever prevail.
“Regrettably, we have come to the conclusion that unless Mr Bethel’s objective is to obstruct, frustrate, embarrass, humiliate, confound, tarnish the reputation or cast unwarranted aspersions on Bahamas Aviation, Climate & Severe Weather Network’s ‘bona fides’ - thereby preventing the Ministry of Aviation from availing itself of the sole, exclusive and sovereign right to the ancillary benefits of a verified $313.5m in Overflight Fees per annum from each and every flight of any commercial, cargo or private air carrier, we can arrive at no rational explanation for the Office of the Attorney General apparently seeming to defy the will of the Cabinet, Prime Minister’s instructions and/or fulfil the FNM’s election manifesto.”
While BACSWN initially welcomed the news from Dr. Minnis that his Government’s new strategy would be that all viable private sector projects would obtain “Fast-Track Approval”, BACSWN has seen no progress with respect to its Heads of Agreement for months - despite the gracious support and encouragement of the Minister of Tourism & Aviation impressing upon the Attorney General his desire to have the agreement signed by Feb. 28, 2021.
“Clearly, no citizen in his right mind envisions that anyone is perfect. However, they do expect our leaders to be diligent and to work in a constructive, meaningful and collaborative fashion in the performance of their official duties. As such, enshrined in the constitutional principles of public life is the fact that every Minister must carry-out a Cabinet ‘Conclusion’ without delay, interference, and/or obstruction, regardless of their own personal opinions,” read the statement.
“Sadly, there are now many Bahamians who, like us, are finding it more and more difficult to support the FNM in view of what they see as the current administration’s favouring of foreign investors. Yet, when it comes to hard working Bahamian entrepreneurs who have the capacity and have assembled the global strategic partners necessary to bring such an ambitious $427m Family Island based project to fruition, they face nearly insurmountable levels of arrogance, entitlement alongside an indifference to the cornerstone of our British Westminster system of Constitutional Government: the ‘Collective Cabinet Responsibility’ by the endless grandstanding of individuals who are as ‘unelected as unelectable’.
“Today, more than ever, our nation needs every Bahamian – regardless of their race, creed, or political persuasion – if we truly wish our country to move together to face the unique challenges and opportunities in this era of global climate change.
“Suffice to say, most Bahamians don’t give a toss about the colour of one’s skin! They want jobs, not unemployment. They want opportunity, not ‘All for me baby”’.They want action; not promises. They want accountability; not to be told we don’t have a right to know. They want answers; not putdowns. But most of all they want those who offer themselves for Public Service to realize such service is a gift of one’s self to the country for the benefit of every individual in our Bahamaland; regardless of one’s own personal convictions.
“For today, Bahamians love the colour green. Just to be clear, We’re not talking about the DNA. We’re talking green for the environment; green for the dollar and green for let’s get going!
“Prime Minister, we stand ready and willing to work with you and your Cabinet colleagues. We look forward to the imminent signing of our Heads of Agreement so that we can contribute in our own way to make it even “Better in the Bahamas”.
“We pray you will not be waylaid by those who wish to diminish our nation’s strategic importance by mischaracterizing our contributions or attempt to disparage the ancillary benefits of a project which Raytheon, Pratt & Whitney, Collins Aerospace, and various US Governmental Agencies state “will propel The Bahamas into a world leader in weather and environmental technology.”