National Aviation Plan to Revolutionize Tourism Industry, Says DPM

(BIS Photos/Kemuel Stubbs)

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper in his Mid-Term Budget Communication in the House of Assembly on Monday, March 6, 2023 discussed the Bahamas National Aviation Strategic Plan, which will outline the direction over the next three years, 2023–2026, and is intended to revolutionize the aviation industry to meet and exceed global standards.

“It goes without saying that aviation is a critical component in our tourism industry, it is the oxygen that tourism needs. We have a strategy and we are implementing it,” he said.

The primary mandate of the plan is to ensure that all initiatives are aligned with the key priorities for aviation, which are supported by eight broad themes.

The plan also highlights areas which will help deliver the government’s commitment to industry growth, modernization, sustainability, and innovation, and includes a short to medium “flight plan” of clear deliverables, timelines, accountability, capacity building and strategic synergies to achieve this goal.

In this vein, the government has launched a request for proposals for the development of 14 Family Island airports that will transform the country’s aviation infrastructure at an estimated $260 million.

“The government is using Public Private Partnership approach to provide a solution for a brighter future beyond the current challenges and inefficiencies within the Family Island airports,” the deputy prime minister said.

He addressed concerns over increase in user fees in the Family Islands. And noted, what has not been said is that taxpayers are subsidizing the Family Island airports for almost $13 million a year, whether those airports are in use or not.

“Let me first say that what we are going to do with Family Island airports has never been done in the history of this country. This will revolutionize aviation and bring a significant boost to our Family Islands” the deputy prime minister said.