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LPIA a lasting tribute to Sir Lynden
By Lindsay Thompson, BIS
Oct 18, 2012 - 1:28:43 AM

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A plaque was unveiled to commemorate Phase 2 of the Lynden Pindling International Airport expansion project during a ceremony Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Pictured amongst those gathered at the unveiling are Stewart Steeves, President and CEO, NAD; Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, Mrs. Bernadette Christie, Dame Marguerite Pindling, and the Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Transport & Aviation. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

NASSAU, The Bahamas -- Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie has touted the modernisation of the Lynden Pindling International Airport as a lasting tribute to the legacy of the ‘Father of the nation’, during opening ceremony on Tuesday, October 16, 2012.

And upon the completion of Phase 3 in autumn 2013, the Government will commission a bronze statue in the likeness of Sir Lynden, to be prominently positioned at the airport, which will also commemorate the country’s 40th Independence Anniversary.

The LPIA expansion project comprises three phases. Stage 1, the US departure terminal completed in March 2011. Phase 2, the International and US departure gates and international arrival terminal, completed October 2012. Phase 3, which will comprise the domestic and international check-in-hall and domestic arrival facility, is scheduled for completion in autumn 2013.

The arrivals terminal, 226,000 sq. ft. houses Bahamas Immigration and Customs, a baggage belt system, four restaurants, bars, lounges and six hotel reception lobbies.

Prime Minister Christie and Dame Marguerite Pindling participated in unveiling a plaque bearing Sir Lynden’s name and documenting the historic occasion and those involved in the project. Guests comprised a wide-cross section of the community.

“This milestone occasion marks the culmination of yet another chapter in the realisation of my government’s vision, put in place during our previous term in office for the creation of a world class international airport,” the Prime Minister said.

It is the largest public infrastructural project ever to be undertaken in the history of The Bahamas. It was designed as the centrepiece to facilitate a plan of economic expansion for the next century. It was also designed to facilitate the easy movement and transportation within the country providing a proliferation of air links to the outside world in support of the anticipated growth in tourism, financial services, international business, commerce, trade and other enterprises.

A ceremony celebrating the completion of Phase 2 of the Lynden Pindling International Airport expansion project was held Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Pictured is Stewart Steeves, President and CEO, NAD greeting Prime Minister the Rt Hon Perry Christie. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

“I am very proud of this key asset which will deliver on time three very modern essential terminals, US Pre-Clearance, International and Domestic Arrivals and Departures,” the Prime Minister said.

The airport, the deep water harbour and Prince George Dock improvements capable of accommodating the world’s largest cruise ships, together with plans for the revitalisation of the city of Nassau are interconnected to a number of major projects being fostered by the government, he said.

Such projects include the $3 billion Phase 3 of the Atlantis, the $2.5 billion Baha Mar resort which comes on stream in 2014, the high-end Albany Residential and Golf Resort, and the Family Island resort anchor projects.

The Lynden Pindling International Airport has moved from a facility that was more than a $20 million annual drain on tax payers, to one that has met expectations for being self-sustaining.

As Minister of Finance, the Prime Minister said he was pleased that the financing model used for this redevelopment project is fairly unique in the region and is being studied and replicated in other places.

“One of the most important considerations is that we are building not only a world class airport, but a lasting tribute to the founding father of our nation and architect of the modern Bahamas, the Rt. Hon. Sir Lynden Pindling.

“I am also delighted that his widow, Dame Marguerite Pindling is here with us this evening to celebrate this second significant milestone of this project,” the Prime Minister said.

He then appealed to the workers comprising customs and immigration personnel amongst others, to maintain the airport as a world-class facility.

“In this gateway to The Bahamas the world will pass through it, and will be watching you. “

The Prime Minister also urged the workers to heed the clarion call of the National Anthem, “See how the world marks the manner of your bearing. Pledge to excel through love and unity”.

"It is only when we do this that our job will be complete and produce lasting positive results for the benefit of the entire Bahamas. Let us all reinvent ourselves to be more productive, successful and make our nation proud,” he said.

The total project budget is approximately $409.5 million. The airport is managed by the Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD), a Bahamian-owned company, owned by the Government of the Bahamas. NAD is responsible for most of the physical infrastructure at LPIA including parking lots, terminals, runways and taxiways.

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