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New Marsh Harbour Airport terminal to enhance quality service
By Llonella Gilbert, BIS
Sep 3, 2011 - 10:54:18 AM

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A contract signing ceremony for the Marsh Harbour Airport Terminal, Air Traffic Control Tower and Fire/Crash Rescue Facility was held at the terminal site. Pictured from left: Architect, Donald Dean; Minister of Tourism and Aviation the Hon. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace; Principal, FES Construction Company Limited, Fletcher McIntosh; Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham; Minister of Public Works and Transport the Hon. Neko Grant and Member of Parliament, South Abaco Edison Key. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

MARSH HARBOUR, Abaco -- The building of the new Marsh Harbour Airport Terminal, Air Traffic Control Tower and Fire/Crash Rescue Facility will further enhance Marsh Harbour Airport’s capacity to provide quality service to the growing number of Abaco residents and visitors, Minister of Public Works and Transport the Hon. Neko Grant said.

The project will complement recent upgrades to the airside infrastructure that were undertaken a year ago, Minister Grant said during the Contract Signing Ceremony at the new terminal site, Thursday, September 1.

“These upgrades included construction of a new jet runway of 6,100 feet conversion of the original runway into a jet-way; installation of new signage, approach, taxiway, and runway lighting, and the development of new flight procedures for the new runway to ensure compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation.”

Minister Grant explained that in July 2010, the Architects Incorporated Company was awarded a contract for architectural design of the new Marsh Harbour terminal, control tower, and fire/crash facilities along with works to integrate the existing terminal building into the new airport terminal’s design.

He said subsequent to completion of the architectural drawings, nine contractors were invited to submit tenders for the project.  Seven tenders were received and opened at the Ministry of Finance’s Tenders Board meeting, May 17, 2011.

“The lowest bidder was considered non-responsive and they withdrew from the tendering process.  The third lowest bidder was some $100,000 more than the second lowest, however their completion period for the project was less.”

Minister of Public Works and Transport the Hon. Neko Grant brings remarks at the Marsh Harbour Airport Terminal, Air Traffic Control Tower and Fire/Crash Rescue Facility at the terminal site, Friday, September 1, 2011. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

Minister Grant stressed that bid price is not the only factor considered in evaluating bid submissions for capital works projects. 

“In this case there is economic benefit to be achieved for the Abaco economy as a result of FES Construction Company’s committed project completion period of 60 weeks, 18 weeks earlier than that submitted by the second lowest bidder, which by far outweighs the difference in the bid price between them.”

He said FES Construction has established a reputation of delivering quality work within agreed timelines and maximises Bahamian participation in other projects.

“Against this background, it was agreed by Cabinet that a contract should be awarded to FES Construction Company Limited in the amount $23.7 million.”

The terminal will incorporate architectural elements that reflect culture of The Bahamas.  The new 51,000 square feet terminal will include 22 counter positions, state-of-the-art luggage scanning system, pilot briefing room, two restaurants, one lounge, eight retail shop spaces, two kiosks, long and short term public parking areas along with taxi and employee parking areas.

The airport terminal, control tower and the crash facility will be equipped with 100 per cent back up emergency electrical supply systems.  The existing terminal will be converted into an Air Cargo facility.

Minister of Tourism and Aviation the Hon. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace spoke on the importance of the Marsh Harbour Airport in The Bahamas. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

The Minister of Tourism and Aviation the Hon. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace who also attended the ceremony noted that Abaco has around 90,000 visitors every year.  He said the Marsh Harbour Airport is the second busiest airport in the country and one of the busiest airports in the entire Caribbean region.

Minister Vanderpool-Wallace added that Abaco is visited by more persons than six countries in the Caribbean region.

Prime Minister the Rt. Hon Hubert A Ingraham; Member of Parliament, South Abaco and Chairman, the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation, Edison Key; other senior government officials and Local Government representatives were also in attendance at the ceremony.

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