Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. H.A. Ingraham officiated at a Gala Opening Ceremony for the new US Departure Terminal at Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) last night.

The Prime Minister noted that The Bahamas is on its way to realizing a long deferred national aspiration for an attractive, modern and efficient principal air gateway to the jurisdiction. *“This is befitting of our status as the premier destination in our region,”* he said.

The terminal is considered unique in the region, from the perspectives of size, scale and scope, as well as amenities and features. It incorporates state-of-the-art baggage systems, environmentally-friendly cooling systems and al fresco dining facilities. The redevelopment of LPIA is also being funded, uniquely, on the basis of passenger facility charges or user fees except for the provision of $50 million by the Government of The Bahamas for Phase I. This first phase was completed at an estimated cost of $190.8 million, Phase II (new International Terminal – starting next week) is expected to cost $138.3 million and Phase III (new Domestic Terminal), which will commence immediately upon the completion of Phase II, some $71.98 million.

The redevelopment now being undertaken at LPIA is the largest public sector project ever undertaken in the history of The Bahamas. The new facility will offer world-class customer service and it will meet all international safety standards.

On April 01, 2007, the Government of the Bahamas officially handed over the development, operation and management of the Lynden Pindling International Airport to the [Nassau Airport Development Company]( (NAD). NAD is a Bahamian company with a 30 year lease. Executives from Vancouver Airport Services (YVRAS), a Canadian firm which operates 18 airports in 7 countries, lead the company. The transfer of the airport to a private management agreement was designed to allow the airport to be developed and transformed into a premier world class facility and to be operated in the most efficient commercial and cost competitive manner.