The Ministry of Tourism, Investment and Aviation announces that the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas has signed an agreement to manage a public-private partnership for the redevelopment of South International Airport Bimini with Bimini Airport Development Partners Limited.
The management agreement allows for a 30-year concession to operate the airport with a firm commitment to invest $80 million in a new state-of-the-art facility in two phases.
The first phase, an investment of US$30 million, which includes upgrading the airside and terminal to enable international commercial traffic, will begin following the signing of the agreement, which took place at Bimini, on Monday, November 6, 2023.
These projects will include planning and design; initial runway improvements; temporary terminal improvements, access road modifications and apron expansion; equipment, maintenance, storage and cargo facilities; stationary operator - including fuel depot and apron; and other ancillary projects.
The second phase, estimated to cost $50 million, will include construction of a new airport passenger terminal and other ancillary facilities, such as an apron and FBO expansion, to support airport operations.
Prime Minister the Honorable Philip Davis said on Monday that although Bimini is at the westernmost tip of the Bahamas, it is the government's focus.
“This airport will create new jobs while maintaining existing ones, improve market access and attract more foreign direct investment,” said Prime Minister Davis.
“Owning and operating retail businesses and concessions at Bimini Airport will be limited to Bahamians. The airport will also provide new opportunities for Bahamians seeking employment while retaining existing employees on similar, if not better, terms and conditions. In short, the airport will employ Bahamians and help grow Bahamian businesses."
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investment and Aviation, the Honorable I. Chester Cooper, said this latest agreement is another success a step in the Family Island Airport revitalization project.
Between January and September 2023, 805,380 people arrived in Bimini. This is 138.4 percent more than the same period in 2022, and almost 840 percent more than in 2019.
“We see Bimini growing exponentially and really is the gateway to the Bahamas, being our closest island to the United States, our largest consumer market,” said DPM Cooper.
“So it is only fitting that we have found a partner who can bring Bimini Airport to to a standard that can not only meet destination demand and growth, but also provide an incredible experience for our residents and visitors, while providing jobs and business opportunities."
DPM Cooper said the PPP model , which operates public airports under private ownership, has proven successful in the Bahamas with the right partner.
“We have found the right partner that combines financial strength, construction experience and management expertise.” , said DPM Cooper.
“This speaks volumes about the hard work of the Airport Authority, the Department of Aviation, the Bahamas Investment Authority, the Attorney General's Office and the Ministry. It also signals the government's commitment to revolutionizing our nation's airport infrastructure."
Bimini Airport Development Partners Limited, a company jointly owned by Phoenix Infrastructure and Plenary Americas. The partnership includes Avports, an airport operations company.
Plenary Americas is a long-term infrastructure investor, developer and asset manager of public-private partnership projects in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. Phoenix Infrastructure Group founder and CEO Jeremy M. Eby said his group is thrilled to be part of this project and proud to be working in partnership with Plenary Americas and Avports “as we create a world-class airport for the people of Bimini and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas "
"As global travel continues to expand beyond the pandemic era, now is the ideal time to provide airlines with increased access to this beautiful part of the world with the upgraded facility this island deserves,” he said .