The Islands of the Bahamas Aviation Department has been working with Florida FBOs for many years, and has recently launched the Bahamas Gateway FBOs with several operations strategically located throughout South Florida, to partner with them in making it easier for private pilots to get travel procedural information to fly to and from the various Bahama Islands.
The announcement was made on behalf of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, by the Ministry's Chief Aviation Specialist, Gregg Rolle. It was noted that the chosen FBOs were selected with the targeted aim to line up the needs of the private pilot with what's available in the destination and make the trip to the Bahamas as seamless as possible.
A select four has been identified as Bahamas Gateway FBOs at this time, who have been trained by the Bahamas Tourist Office staff on all facets of U.S. and Bahamas requirements of aircrafts leaving/arriving the U.S. mainland; it is hoped, however, that the number will grow. The four FBOs identified include:
Opa Locka Airport – Miami Executive Aviation
Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport – Banyan Air Service
Stuart/Palm Beach Airport – Galaxy Aviation of Palm Beach
St. Lucie International Airport – Air Center/Fort Pierce
The selected FBOs have been classed as Bahamas Gateways and are equipped to provide Customs and Immigration information as well as supplies and even up-to-the minute information on the Bahamas. The small airports serve as a one-stop shop for Private Pilots, as well as general aviation traffic both private and charter.
"The FBOs like Banyan have shown much interest in working with The Islands of the Bahamas," says Rolle. He says that because of this expressed interest, over the years, the Bahamas Aviation Department has conducted training of the staff as well as included FBOs in their marketing activities such as trade shows and promotional ventures.