What have you done in nine months?
Minister of State with responsibility for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson, acknowledging that the island’s main port of entry has been repeatedly compromised by hurricanes over the years, said if - yes, he said if - the government decides to rebuild the Grand Bahama International Airport, resiliency is key.
“If we are going to rebuild, it must be done in a resilient way. It does not make sense for us to rebuild what was there before because we have learned that in that situation, it is likely to be destroyed again if another hurricane comes,” he said.
Three times in the past seven years, the airport has sustained massive damage due to hurricanes.
Another suggestion has been to relocate the airport.
‘We have to understand that the airport has really been damaged a number of times by several hurricanes, so any position with respect to the airport will require a complete assessment of the property; a reassessment of how you’re going to rebuild it,” said Thompson.
Currently the airport - the gateway to the once ‘magic’ city of Freeport and the island with the second largest population in The Bahamas - is a mangled mess, deemed unfit for operation.
After nine months!
With the country looking to reopen its borders to international travel as of July 1st while authorities continue to try to manage the COVID-19 contagion, any would-be travellers from abroad to Grand Bahama will have to be welcomed into a temporary terminal and associated facilities. The same terminal and associated facilities that welcomes domestic travellers.
And about those temporary facilities, the Minister with responsibility for Grand Bahama had this to say: “We understand that this is not an acceptable position for Grand Bahama to be in for any long period.”
It’s been nine months already!