March Harbour AIRPORT Expansion By Stephanie Humblestone

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Marsh Harbour Airport Will Be Enlarged - 1 Nov 2000
By Stephanie Humblestone

Plans are being made to extend the front and rear of Marsh Harbour International Airport terminal. This will encompass both the departure areas and the Customs and Immigration section. "This is not a substitute for a new terminal which is still on stream for next year, " said airport manager Bobby Jones.

Spearheaded by the Ministry of Works, the project is scheduled to begin within the next couple of weeks. The work will done with the minimum disruption to air travel.

More space will be afforded throughout to provide increased comfort to passengers and improve working conditions for staff. The nine ticketing counters will be extended and refurbished, seating areas upgraded, more lavatories installed and the entire building air-conditioned. The snack bar will be expanded and moved farther to the north.

"This move is in response to increased travel to the major Family Islands," said Mr. Jones, who added that similar measures are planned for the Treasure Cay terminal and airports on other busy Family Island airports.

Along with improvements to the terminal, lights and navigational aids will be installed for illuminating the runway which will include approach lights, taxiway lights and ramp flood lights. With these in place, night flights will be scheduled and the airport will close at 10:00 p.m. as opposed to the current sunset closing. In addition to this, a GPS navigation station is to be installed as an increased navigational aid to aviators.

The trees on both sides of the runway will be cleared to ensure greater visibility for pilots. The much needed control tower will be constructed next year as part of the expanded airport. Security overall will be improved with closer monitoring of the airport's entrances and exits and with security officers and police.

Much of the work will be carried out by Ministry of Works personnel but some will be sub-contracted locally. "This is really a forerunner to the new airport," said Mr. Jones, who would like to see a more streamlined operation.

During the peak season Marsh Harbour airport may have as many as 300 to 500 people arriving and the same number of departures daily. Mr. Jones recalls that on one very busy day 120 flights, comprising scheduled, charters and private, took-off and landed.

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