Bahamas’main airport to undergo extensive runway rehabilitation project

(CNS) – The Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) says it will soon begin an extensive runway rehabilitation project at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA).

According to officials, the work will take place over a four to six month period with a total capital investment of just under US$20 million dollars.

For the duration of the project, LPIA will operate as a single runway facility and according to NAD contingency plans are in place to reduce the impact to overall operations.

Once completed, the project will result in upgrades to asphalt, which will extend the life of the runways at LPIA.  

NAD says Runway End Safety Areas (RESAs) will be added to reduce the risk of damage to aircraft that overrun the runways. 

The project will also include the acquisition and installation of new LED approach lights on the runways to help pilots better identify the airport during low visibility operations.

According to NAD’s President and CEO, Vernice Walkine, the runway rehabilitation is scheduled maintenance that must be done to ensure that LPIA continues to operate as a safe and efficient airport and meet all international safety standards.

“We understand the importance of the upgrades and are now in a position to invest the necessary capital to undertake the project at this time. There was no perfect time to do these necessary works, so we will have to manage the project with the goal of minimizing disruption to ongoing operations. We are working with key airport partners on contingency plans to manage the flow of air traffic and to ensure the usability of the airport’s sole runway during the rehabilitation process.”

The project will begin during one of LPIA’s many peak travel periods, but based on the projected timeline, NAD anticipates that the runway rehabilitation will be in full swing during the slower period of September and October with the goal of having works completed before Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, NAD has implemented contingency measures for continuous aircraft movement at the airport while in single runway operations such as the use of newly acquired equipment to remove disabled aircraft should the need arise, and scheduled maintenance  will be conducted during off peak hours.

 During this period, LPIA will advise neighboring airports that it cannot be utilized for any airline diversions unless it is an emergency. 

In the event of inclement weather while the airport is operating with a single runway, ATC will follow existing protocol, suspending services at LPIA until conditions improve. NAD says it will  also continue to work closely with partners to capture and remove wildlife on the airside and the neighboring areas that might impede operations.

“We would like the public to note that it is not uncommon for airports of our size and in this region to operate using a single runway.  Barbados, Trinidad, St. Lucia and St. Maarten all operate using one runway. During this period, we are asking the travelling public to exercise patience when arriving or departing from LPIA, as there will likely be delays resulting from the runway rehabilitation project.”