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News : Ministry of Tourism Updates Last Updated: May 7, 2015 - 7:57:38 AM

Bahamas #1 In Private Aviation
By Kendea Smith
Jan 8, 2015 - 3:26:27 PM

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The Bahamas was recently declared number one in private aviation beating out regional competitors like St. Bartens, St. Martins and Turks and Caicos and banking in almost $300 million.

According to figures supplied byPrivateFly from WINGX, there were 12,566 charter flights to the 10 busiest Caribbean airports alone from November 2013 to April 2014 – the high season for travel.

Based on data from Prince & Associates showing that private jets bring an average of $69,000 in spend to the destinations they visit (excluding fuel and landing fees), private jet travelers brought some $867 million in spending to the destinations where the top 10 airports were located.

Officials say the top destination was Nassau, which brought in over $278 million from private airliners alone.

Chief Pilot and Aviation Specialist for the Ministry of Tourism Greg Rolle, who has responsibility for private airliners, said it was a part of the ministry’s objectives to make the country number one in private aviation.

“Our private aviation objectives were two-fold - to increasedgeneral aviation traffic and expenditure and toexpose more Bahamians to business opportunities in the General Aviation Industry,” Mr. Rolle said.

“These numbers and revenue assure us that private pilots are coming to The Bahamas and the three Bahamas Islands mentioned all have Fixed Based Operator (FBO’s) that are owned and operated by Bahamians.”

The companies credited for the number one position includeOdyssey Aviation and Executive Flight Support,Cherokee Aviation in Abaco andWhite Crown Aviation in Eleuthera.

Mr. Rolle added that this speaks volumes to aviation marketing efforts towards private pilots.

“Our team moves aggressively to build relationships with all major aviation executives and put the various programs in place for their members which includes, The Bahamas Flying Ambassadors program, forming relationships with Aviation Clubs, Associations, Aviation schools, FBO’s (Fixed Based
Operations) (EAA)Experimental Aircraft Association and (AOPA) Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association,” he said.

“Our desired outcome is beingrealized, as wecreate more awareness of the general aviation market, its value to the Bahamian economy and career or business opportunities for Bahamians.”

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