Bahamas Airport Expansion Planned as Arrivals Soar

The Bahamas government has granted the operators of the Bahamas’ Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) 1,448 acres for utilized for ‘significant investment projects” including “future runway expansion,” according to local press reports.

Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) officials requested the additional acreage from the government after NAD’s chairman, said in an annual report that increased passenger revenue was driven by the Bahamas’ record 2019 arrivals provided the airport’s operators with sufficient financing to launch capital investment projects to” improve the operational efficiency of the airport and set it up for future growth,” according to a Bahamas Tribune report.

A record 3.9m passengers passed through LPIA in the 12 months ending June 2019, said NAD officials, generating increases in “virtually every major revenue category,” including a 21 percent increase in total year-over-year revenue to $108.2 million in 2019 compared with $89.4 million the previous year.

The territory’s robust visitor arrivals turned LIPA’s $4.37 million loss for the 12 months ending June 2018 into a $7.76 million net profit, NAD officials said. The annual profit was the first NAD has achieved since entering its 30-year LPIA lease with the government in 2007.

NAD chairman Walter Wells targeted the Baha Mar resort, which launched in earnest in 2018 after several years of delays, as a major contributor to the Bahamas’ growing arrival numbers. “The driver behind this breathtaking growth was undoubtedly the opening of Baha Mar and the significant marketing push that accompanied it,” he said.

Baha Mar-driven arrivals peaked during the first quarter of 2019 as LIPA passenger volume grew 29 percent year-over-year in February and 12.8 percent in March. Wells nevertheless said growth would slow somewhat in the near future, as Baha Mar’s rooms “have been absorbed by the market.”

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