Government to break ground for new GB airport in early 2023
#GrandBahama, The Bahamas, January 8, 2023 – Government is in the final phase of negotiations with the selected bidder for a new international airport for Grand Bahama with a groundbreaking scheduled for the first quarter of 2023.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, the Hon. Chester Cooper making the announcement Monday, January 2, 2023 at the rededication of the Domestic Terminal of the Grand Bahama International Airport.
“I am happy to tell you that we have selected the winning bidder for the new airport development, which includes a consortium of Bahamians and a world-class international airport operator. We are currently in the final phase of negotiations and we will be in a position to make an announcement very soon,” Minister Cooper said.
The terminal was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in 2019.
DPM Cooper flew into the nation’s second city on Monday for the official reopening and rededication ceremony.
United Orca Construction Company was awarded the $1.2million contract to perform the airport renovations.
Representatives from the Freeport Airport Development Company (FADC), Ministry of Tourism, Bahamas Customs, Ministry for Grand Bahama and the Grand Bahama Port Authority.
Minister Cooper said the refurbished terminal will serve as a sign of what is to come for the island.
“Since coming to office, we have worked assiduously to put Grand Bahama on a path for rebound after Dorian and after COVID and after many years of a depressed economy,” he said.
Grand Bahama has a great product, Minister Cooper said, while pointing out, however, that its entryways and accommodations need to be in place to truly make the island shine as one of the country’s finest destinations.
Since the formation of the FADC, government has made significant progress on the redevelopment of the international airport and has set in place covenants to have Phase I completed by early 2025.
The minister of tourism said the government has worked tirelessly to increase cruise and aircraft arrivals to Grand Bahama and airlift and cruise arrivals have dramatically increased over the past year.
“We believe that 2023 is going to be a great year,” Minister Cooper said, while revealing that international seat capacity for Grand Bahama had increased by 80 percent in November 2022, compared to the same time period in 2019.
International direct flights have been added to Grand Bahama from Charlotte via American Airlines; Ft. Lauderdale via Bahamasair and Silver Airways; Miami via American Airlines; Orlando and Raleigh/Durham via Bahamasair; and Montreal and Toronto via Sunwing.
New airlift from Atlanta, Tampa, and Italy is also projected for Grand Bahama.
Cruise arrivals have also seen a more than150 percent increase in comparison to 2019.
“I bore you with the details because I want you to appreciate that the recovery is real. We have the evidence and we see no sign of slowing down. We have new developments and we’re working every day to tell the world about Grand Bahama and to direct them here as one of our 15 magnificent island destinations,” Minister Cooper said.
Armed with evidence of a tourism and investment rebound, the minister pointed out that the goal is for that rebound to be consistent with what residents in Grand Bahama see on the ground and vendors feel in their pockets.
“We are sensitive to your needs and the fact that your expectations have been dashed before,” he said. “I come with the evidence to tell you that we continue to work to ensure that we deliver for you. You deserve the very best and we will spare no effort to see that you have just that.”
Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey, while bringing remarks, said the airport is a key component in the recovery and rebuilding of Grand Bahama’s economy and a gateway to the island for residents and visitors.
She added that the refurbishment of the terminal is a step in the right direction, illustrates progress and is another win for the nation’s second city.
“We should be celebrating small wins. We should celebrate every win because for a very long time there was little to brag about,” Minister Moxey said.
The delegation was given a tour of the refurbished facility following the brief ceremony.
Header: The renovated Domestic Terminal at the Grand Bahama International Airport is now open for business following the rededication ceremony on Monday, January 2, 2023. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, the Hon. Chester Cooper travelled to Grand Bahama for the event. Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey and representatives from the Freeport Airport Development Company (FADC), Ministry of Tourism, Bahamas Customs, Ministry for Grand Bahama and the Grand Bahama Port Authority were also in attendance.
1st insert: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, the Hon. Chester Cooper said on Monday, January 2, 2023 the renovated Domestic Terminal and the Grand Bahama International Airport is a sign of what is to come for the island.
2nd insert: President of the Grand Bahama Christian Council Rev. Kenneth Lewis performing the blessing on the refurbished Domestic Terminal and the Grand Bahama International Airport during the rededication ceremony on Monday, January 2, 2023.
3rd insert: Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey said the refurbishment and reopening of the Domestic Terminal and the Grand Bahama International Airport on Monday, January 2, 2023 signifies another win for Grand Bahama.
BIS Photos/Andrew Miller
FBI and Bahamas looking into woman’s death
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – The FBI is investigating a woman’s ‘suspicious’ death on a Carnival Cruise ship in February. The unnamed woman and her husband boarded the Carnival Sunshine on February 27th, for a trip to the Bahamas, but she was dead before they arrived in the port in The Bahamas.
The FBI said Carnival’s team had administered life saving measures when the woman was reported unresponsive, but they were unsuccessful. The body and the woman’s husband were released to the Bahamian authorities when the cruise arrived in the country.
In a statement shared with US media houses, Carnival Cruises claimed the death has been a natural one. The Nassau Guardian said a source told them the police findings had concurred with that assessment saying it was a “normal sudden death of a tourist who wasn’t feeling well.”
The FBI was waiting for the cruise and when it got back to South Carolina on March 4th, they immediately boarded and began to investigate the room based on ‘evidence of a crime.’ The FBI also searched the couple’s car.
No updates have been shared to contradict the currently established cause of death.
Why Sargassum Matters
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – “If you don’t like it, go to another beach!” Is what Aaron John, an Education Officer from The Bahamas National Trust jokingly tells our news team about sargassum blooms; his quip, motivated by the necessity of nature when pit against the notion that there is a real threat when the stinky seaweed makes its annual appearance.
John can admit, he says, that Sargassum isn’t very pretty but life isn’t all about aesthetics and in this instance that ugly patch serves a purpose.
“We love our sandy beaches, but in order to keep them we need Sargassum. When storms come, they wash away all the sand off the beach but sargassum acts as a mulch to protect the sand from water erosion. It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t feel good but we need it.”
He said it also provides a habitat for small crustaceans, crabs, and insects that are all necessary to our ecosystem and islanders have found use for the weed.
“Historically, (in The Bahamas) we have been using sargassum as fertilizer, especially in the family Islands as far back as I know,” he said. “Birds don’t go on the beach unless there is Sargassum and what do they do? they feed – it’s beautiful.”
He encouraged residents to just leave it be if they came across it.
Sargassum isn’t harmful to humans, except for people with respiratory issues who may find the rotten egg smell triggers asthma. Despite this, it’s not advisable to walk through the weeds which may hide sharp rocks and bottles or vulnerable animals.
Experts say Sargassum blooms began to increase in size around 2011 and have continued to get bigger and bigger since. This year‘s bloom is around 5000 miles long and 300 miles wide and visible from space.
“I know it’s not a general outlook, but I would like to change the perspective on sargassum,” John said, pointing out The Bahamas National Trust is actively working to decrease alarm over the less worrisome events like sargassum as it raises the profile on the environmentally devastating.
Lease agreement approved for diaspora office
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos’ Bahamas Diaspora Office is moving closer and closer to opening day, following the Cabinet’s approval for the signing of a lease agreement.
The lease will be signed with FINCEN ltd in the Bahamas. Several weeks ago, Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration confirmed to our news team that the location had been found and was being finalized; now a lease is approved at the Cabinet level.
The interest in the TCI from TC Bahamians was evident in the diaspora meetings held in early February. The two meetings held in Nassau and Grand Bahama were completely full and over-subscribed by hundreds.
It’s interest which the Government hopes will translate to real life population growth, bolstering the local population before the native population ‘goes extinct’.
The Opposition PDM is on the record with what it feels is a far more viable solution to a dwindling native population; seek out the country’s own citizens and bring them back home.
Cabinet did not state when the office will open.
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