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U.S. and The Bahamas Renew the Air Transport Preclearance Agreement 




Bahamas Information Services


NASSAU, The Bahamas – Official Signing of the Air Transport Preclearance Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, February 5, 2024.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. Frederick Mitchell explained that this is a renewal of an agreement signed between the two countries in April 1974, which eases the flow of people between The Bahamas and the U.S.  It also creates a high level of security for the two countries.

In 1974, it was signed by the then Minister of External Affairs the Hon. Paul Adderley and U.S. Ambassador to The Bahamas Ronald Spiers.

Minister Mitchell said, “As we sign this Agreement, the government and people of The Bahamas renew their commitment to strengthening our relations, security and ease of access for both countries.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) Acting Executive Assistant Commissioner, Diane Sabatino signed on behalf of the United States.

Assistant Commissioner Sabatino explained that the Agreement predates the existence of the Department of Homeland Security as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“This renewed agreement marks the opportunity for us to consider expanded opportunities to further reinforce the partnerships that we have with you in The Bahamas, and look for ways to enhance economic prosperity while ensuring safe travel between The Bahamas and the U.S.”

She noted that preclearance opens an additional gateway into the U.S. and it really maximizes the use of aircraft and gate utilization. Further, it leads to streamlining of passenger processing.

“This new agreement represents a modernized operational framework to be more flexible, to be more nimble and increase the partnership between the two countries.”

Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of the United States of America, Usha Pitts said the main point of the Preclearance Agreement is that Americans can go through preclearance in The Bahamas as if they are boarding a domestic flight.

“When they return to the U.S., they can just get onto their connecting flight and get on with their day.  They do not have to wait in long lines at international terminals.

“For Bahamians they enjoy this benefit as well, but even better, it allows the U.S. to grant Bahamians U.S. Visa-free travel, which is a benefit that very few countries enjoy.”

The Charge d’Affaires said there are only six countries in the world that have this kind of Preclearance Agreement.

Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Permanent Secretary, Reginald Saunders noted that this new preclearance agreement reaffirms the commitment of The Bahamas and the U.S. to further strengthening their relationship and mutual border integrity, and supersedes the existing Air Transport Preclearance Agreement signed in 1974 and amended in 2010.

He explained that apart from preclearance of all U.S. bound passengers, the new agreement also provides for the additional manpower of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers during peak times at the Lynden Pindling International Airport.

“With the new benchmark of nine million visitors to our country in 2023, this updated agreement will help in improving the travel experience of all U.S. bound passengers from The Bahamas.

“Moreover, as our early projections of tourists’ arrivals in 2024 continue to look impressive, having a stress-free travel experience also bodes well for both air carriers and tourism.”

PS Saunders said officials at the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation continue to negotiate with various airlines and stakeholders to increase airlift to The Bahamas which in turn increases the number of travellers.

He said, “We are also pleased that U.S. Customs and Border Protection is considering the addition of The Bahamas to the global entry list.  This measure will greatly reduce the wait time at LPIA by allowing pre-approved passengers expedient clearance to bypass lines and access global processing technology.”



Official Signing of the Air Transport Preclearance Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and The Commonwealth of The Bahamas took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, February 5, 2024.  The Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. Frederick Mitchell signed on behalf of The Bahamas and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) Acting Executive Assistant Commissioner, Diane Sabatino signed on behalf of the United States.  Also pictured seated are Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of the United States of America, Usha Pitts and Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jamahl Strachan.

(BIS Photos/Kemuel Stubbs)

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$36 Million Dollar Upgrade for World Athletics Relays in Nassau, Bahamas



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 


After years of thorough maintenance, The Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in The Bahamas is finally getting a multi-million dollar makeover, readying the 10 year old facility ahead of the World Athletics Relays on May  5, 2024; it is being staged in Nassau for the fourth time. 


This $36 million refurbishment is being funded by the Chinese Government, as part of a vision to enhance the country’s sport infrastructure to benefit youths in athletics. The stadium was gifted to The Bahamas in 2012 by the Chinese.


The relay is the qualifying event for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games and there will be 32 national teams, in each relay event, and 20 races on both days of competition, according to World Athletics. 

Day 1, will have 20 heats across the five olympic events (4 heats each for 4×100, 4×400, men, women and mixed) and will qualify 40 teams for the Summer Olympics.  The top two teams from each heat will directly qualify for the Games.

On day 2, 30 more national teams will be qualified through 15 repechage heats and five finals, across those five events.


The upgrades which include new trusses, rooftops, seats, the lawn, score boards, LED displays and more, are expected to be complete at least two weeks before the relays, being held under the theme: ‘Chase the  Sun’. 


In a special ceremony on Monday April 8, The Bahamas Prime Minister, Philip Davis said:


In December 2023, our shared vision took shape, as the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and the government of the People’s Republic of China, inked an implementation agreement for the renovation of the stadium. This gesture of goodwill and friendship, from the Chinese government to undertake the China Aid Maintenance and Renovation project of our national stadium, stands as a testament to the strong bonds that unite our countries. This project, executed by China Urban Construction Research Institute Company Limited, and the China Machinery Industry Construction Group Company Limited, reflects our shared commitment to excellence, innovation and mutual development.”


Additionally, H.E Dai Qingli, outgoing Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas who also attended that ceremony, spoke. 


“At the end of the project, the Bahamian people will get a fully renewed and modern world class stadium because everything is going to be either renewed or repaired,” she said.

Some 1600 athletes will be in The Bahamas for the World Athletics relays, with five events.  The Bahamas won the bid over Lausanne, Rome in 2022.


 Mario Bowleg,  Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture in reports, thanked China for their contribution to the redevelopment of the stadium. 


“We thank them for their commitment to ensuring that they bring this facility back up to A1 standard so that we can continue holding international events and using these facilities as a development of our young people.”

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Bahamas News

Grand Bahama Airport Demolition



BIS Photo: Lisa Davis

Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

TheBahamas#TheGrandBahamaAirportDemolition, April 10, 2024 – The demolition of the Grand Bahama International Airport has begun, to start transformative construction as previously announced by Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Aviation and Investments, Chester Cooper, last month. Cooper says a new state of the art facility will be created to redefine Grand Bahama’s access to global opportunities and meet international standards.






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Saxons Brass Section Thanks CWCO for Continued Commitment



NASSAU, BAHAMAS (April 9th, 2024) Behind the vibrant costumes and electrifying beats of Junkanoo parades are committed members, mentors, and supporters such as Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO). In a heartfelt acknowledgment of years of generous support, the Saxons Superstars’ brass section, High Voltage Brass, recently visited the water supplier to present a plaque of appreciation.

Jeremy Adderley, speaking on behalf of High Voltage Brass, said, “Without CWCO’s support, we would not have had the brass costumes needed to compete and secure our two-straight victory. Their support also helps us as we plan lessons for our young members to enhance their musicianship skills, not just for Junkanoo but for college and beyond.”

Adderley highlighted that the plaque is a token of High Voltage Brass’ immense gratitude for CWCO helping the Saxons Superstars keep culture alive and for being a steadfast partner in developing future leaders.

He added, “Every year, it is a struggle to make it to Bay Street. Many of our members are eager to participate, despite their circumstances, and every year our group continues to grow. Thanks to CWCO’s generosity, we look forward to continuing to grow and succeed alongside their great team and establishment.”

Henderson Cash, CWCO’s General Manager, said, “Receiving this plaque from the Saxons Superstars is a profound honor for us at CWCO. It symbolizes the strong relationship we’ve built over the years, rooted in mutual respect and a shared commitment to preserving Bahamian heritage.

“Our support for the Saxons Superstars’ brass section is emblematic of our broader mission to invest in our community’s vibrancy and the potential of its young people. We are deeply committed to continuing this support and fostering the traditions that make our culture so unique.”


Photo Caption: The Saxons Superstars’ brass section, High Voltage Brass, recently visited Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO) to present a plaque of appreciation.

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