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Govt seeks to determine location of new Cat Island airport

  • Philip Brave Davis.

SCIESKA ADDERLEY
Guardian Business Reporter
scieska@nasguard.com

Published: Sep 04, 2013

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development Philip ‘Brave’ Davis has revealed that an airport planner is expected to travel to Cat Island soon to identify the exact location for the proposed $16 million New Bight International Airport.

Davis, who is also the member of Parliament for Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador, told Guardian Business that the Department of Physical Planning has approved the plans for the terminal. In addition to the airport, the government is ironing out some issues related to a marina set for a $220 million Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Village.

“It’s a matter for the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA). I’m hoping to have the matter resolved soon and I am confident that we will be able to do that,” he said.

“I was advised yesterday [Monday] that the Department of Physical Planning has approved plans for the terminal. I think the next step is for an airport planner to go down to Cat Island with those plans, to identify a proper location and site for the building itself.”

Last October, the developer behind the first PGA Village outside of the U.S. revealed plans for the new international airport to be constructed in collaboration with the government.

Phase one of the airport

redevelopment, a $9 million venture, will involve the construction of a new terminal building and the resurfacing of the existing runway. The second phase is expected to bring the total bill to $16 million, chiefly through the construction of a new runway that will be 150 feet wide and 7,000 feet long.

In its most recent newsletter, the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association’s President, Stuart Bowe, pointed to the New Bight airport project - along with the redevelopment of the Lynden Pindling International Airport and the Marsh Harbour airport - as critical to stimulating additional tourism.

“One cannot underestimate the value of these airport investments. They attract airline and investor confidence and should generate increase arrivals,” he told BHTA members.

In May, Davis revealed to Guardian Business that the government was to meet with representatives associated with the project to finalize approvals needed for works to move ahead on the multimillion- dollar project.

Since then, those approvals have been finalized, putting developers in a position to move ahead with the golfing community.

“We have already signed off on the water and electricity franchise for them. So the ball is in their court to wrap up everything as soon as they are ready to come to the table,” he added.

Ground was broken on the proposed 1,906-acre oceanfront resort in April 2009, originally set to open in May 2012.

It was in 2008 when the PGA of America announced it entered a licensing agreement with Cat Island Partners Ltd., developers of the Cat Island Golf and Beach Resort.

The property would be owned by Cat Island Partners Ltd. and operated by Southworth Golf, a subsidiary of Southworth Development LLC, of Newton, Massachusetts.

The proposed PGA Village would include two 18-hole championship golf courses, a five-star hotel and a variety of residential properties. A tennis center, casino, apartment complex and full-service beach club have also been proposed for the development.

 

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