Construction on Barbuda airport to start in September

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Construction of the new airport runway in Barbuda – which broke ground last month  – is now expected to start in September.
The cost is also expected to go up, but only slightly, after a Cabinet decision to increase the runway width from 30 to 45 metres, on the recommendation of the Airport Authority.
That timeline and cost, however, depends on if the Bahamas Hotmix Company – BHM – is chosen as the developer.
Last week Information Minister Melford Nicholas said the Cabinet was likely to seek a waiver of tender to allow BHM to be selected. He said this is because the company was helping to provide the finance for the project.
Trade Minister EP Chet Greene and Government Chief of Staff Lionel “Max” Hurst, reporting on this week’s Cabinet session, said the company is putting up around $4 million of the US $15.9 million that the project is expected to cost.
Greene, however, would not disclose the terms at which the funds are being offered.
“I would not be in a position to give the terms of the financing,” Greene said.
He added that he was unable to reveal details on the expected cost of the airport terminal to accompany the runway.
“Naturally, there has to be a terminal but that is not before us, as I brought to this morning the notes from yesterday’s Cabinet meeting; so the terminal was not a talking point. What was a talking point, yesterday, was the runway and the extension of the apron as recommended by ABAA and agreed upon during the cabinet session,” Greene said.
Last week, Minister of Barbuda Affairs Arthur Nibbs revealed that the airport construction was on hold pending the completion of plans and approval by the relevant authorities.

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