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LPIA Grand-Opening-Nassau
Brienne Herbert

The Realization of a Long Deferred National Aspiration

In late February, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham unveiled the new Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPI) ( terminal to the public in Nassau, Bahamas. This $409.5 million project was mandated by The Government of the Bahamas for the Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) to not only improve the current facilities, but also to construct a new terminal for international travel. On Friday February 25, 2011 the Prime Minister delivered his keynote address at the official grand opening to an audience of almost 2,000 guests.

For years, ranked among the least efficient and least customer-friendly airports in the region, LPI was long overdue for an overhaul. This project is scheduled for a two-phase development calendar which will culminate in 2013. Phase one, concluded in 2010, involved $11.7 million in capital improvements with upgrades to the physical and sanitary conditions in the present terminals. The Prime Minister said when the government sought to improve the airport; it began with the US Departure Terminal “a simple recognition of the importance of the American market to the success of our tourism sector and indeed of our economy. NAD spent more than $201 million on stage one. Contracted by 15 Bahamian companies, NAD succeeded in bringing valuable business to the Bahamas through the employment of 424 local Bahamian workers. The Prime Minister was also happy to recognize the international companies in partnership with Bahamian firms, who he said performed admirably. Phase one included 19 retail and food and beverage options including a native sit down restaurant capable of seating up to 170 patrons.

The phase 2 accounts for the construction of the new terminal & pier in LPI, selective demolition of the existing US Departures Terminal with the construction of new International Arrivals Terminal & Pier and the construction of a new Domestic/ International Departures and Domestic Arrivals Terminal. The second terminal is on target for a late 2012 opening with the third terminal expecting a late 2013 opening. As one of the most eco-friendly developments in the Caribbean, much effort has been taken to set the new LPI terminal at a level where it will compete with its international counterparts.

The new structure features Bahamian artwork by artist John Beadle, Nichole Sweeting, Susan Katz-Lightbourm and John Cox. The Nassau Airport Development Company put special emphasis on the sustainability aspect of the newer, greener LPI through; The use of deep water cooling, a mix of 50% glass and 50% solid walls to maximize natural light and terminal cooling by low velocity air diffusers for maximum energy-efficiency. “Now we are on our way to realizing a long deferred national aspiration for an attractive, modern and efficient principal air getaway to The Bahamas.“ the Prime Minister said. Upon completion in 2013, LPI will feature a 21% increase in airport size, accommodating over 5 million more passengers; 10 aircraft bridges and 23 aircraft ground loading positions; and a variety of retail and dinning selections across the three Terminals.

After opening remarks, guests were escorted upstairs for an impressive buffet spread of international cuisine. Guests were able to interact and fully experience details of the newly constructed terminal by grabbing a drink at the Heineken bar or checking out one of the gift shops with Bahamian art and products. With a private performance by international recording artist Lenny Kravitz, the Government of The Bahamas truly set the tone for a new cosmopolitan addition to the tourism industry.

For a small group of six writers, our Bahamian experience was only furthered by the hospitality of The Sheraton Beach Resort ( With 694 suites, each boasting a large private balcony or patio with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, we found all of the comforts of home during our stay. Situated on a 1,000-ft. stretch of Nassau’s most spectacular white-sand beach, the Sheraton offers an abundance of activities that utilize the natural beauty of the Bahamian land to its fullest potential. From swimming, to snorkeling, sailing, water and beach sports, our leisure time simply hanging around the resort never included a dull moment. Rooms were equipped with all the features guests would expect from a top notch hotel/resort including; Flat screen LCD televisions, cable channels, in room movies, maid service, and signature bath amenities.

The hospitality and superior customer service of the Sheraton staff was a highlight in particular that only added to the fine amenities and activities. In addition to the festivities of our host hotel, our group was fortunate enough to receive a private yacht tour of downtown Bahamas by the Bahamas Tourist Board following the grand opening of LPI on Saturday. With a private chef and bartender, we were treated with the very luxury that the Bahamas is known for. A perfect culmination to an eventful weekend, we coasted by such landmarks as The Atlantis and The Cove to take in the sights.

Whether for business or leisure, the new LPI offers a whole new level of exceptional tourism experiences for travelers to Nassau, Bahamas. With the addition of state-of-the-art terminals and top-notch upgrades to existing facilities, LPI can now compete with the likes of world-class airports around the globe. “Indeed we have launched the most comprehensive and ambitious infrastructural investment program in Bahamian history, which will enhance the quality of life for Bahamian residents and the visitor experience of guests to our country”- Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham.
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