A new $30 million international airport terminal is scheduled to open by June 2, 2004 on Grand Bahama Island. The spacious 128,000 square foot terminal is the first U.S. Customs pre-clearance facility to be built post 9/11. The new airport terminal has been built to meet customs and border protection standards required by U.S. Homeland Security. The new terminal will be used exclusively for international arrivals and U.S. departures. In addition to the new airport terminal, the runway (11,000 feet long), was entirely resurfaced at a cost of $5.5 million to accommodate the largest airplanes in service today. When the new terminal is completed, Grand Bahama Island will have one of the most up to date airports in the region.
“The new, state-of-the-art international terminal will significantly enhance the travel experience of visitors to Grand Bahama Island with comfortable, convenient airport services and a colorful Bahamian decor,” said Chris Gray, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Bahama Airport Company.
The Westin and Sheraton at Our Lucaya is a partner with the Grand Bahama Airport Company in the development of the new airport. “We will have a comfortable reception lounge at the new international terminal to provide VIP and other guest services at the airport,” said Harris Chan, Managing Director of the Westin and Sheraton at Our Lucaya resort. “The new airport is a major part of the development taking place on Grand Bahama Island as increasing numbers of travelers discover this luxurious tropical getaway,” Mr. Chan said.
The new terminal will easily accommodate the increasing number of passengers and major airlines servicing Grand Bahama Island. (Both Delta and Continental Airlines began non-stop service from their hubs to Grand Bahama in the Fall of 2003.)
Twelve customs booths will provide convenient U.S. Customs pre-clearance in Grand Bahama. Grand Bahama Island’s existing airport, adjacent to the new terminal, will continue to service local Bahamian flights and other international departures.
A prototype for the new security requirements, the new airport terminal will have 2 TSA advanced protection machines for scanning luggage as well as an elaborate baggage handling facility which was added at a cost of $1.5 million.
Random search and secondary inspection areas are a security requirement and have been seamlessly designed to meet increased passenger traffic through the airport.
To handle larger numbers of passengers, 22 ticket counters will be available to service travelers. Travelers will be able to shop in a variety of retail stores, buy duty free, arrange car rentals and hotel transfers, and buy magazines and newspapers at the newsstand.
A comfortable departure lounge with retail shops, internet kiosks, telephones, coffee bar and restaurants will allow travelers to check their email, make phone calls and have a meal while waiting to board their flights.