Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in Nassau opened its new international arrivals terminal yesterday. This is the second stage of the planned three-stage, $409 million redevelopment of The Bahamas’ largest airport.
The first visitors through the new facility arrived at 9:03 am on JetBlue flight 1791 from Fort Lauderdale. Arriving travelers found an entirely new first impression of the destination thanks to improvements to the physical space and the airport services and amenities. Officials of Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) were on hand to christen the new facility. Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie and other government officials will open the terminal at an official opening ceremony this evening.
The first stage of the redevelopment, the newly constructed U.S. Departures Terminal, opened in March 2011 on time and under budget. The third and final stage, a new Domestic and International Departures and Domestic Arrivals Terminal, is scheduled to open in Fall 2013.
The 226,000 sq. ft. international arrivals terminal follows the green design initiated in Stage I, using a mix of 50-50 solid and glass wall construction to maximize natural light and generous roof overhangs for natural shading and cooling. Arriving passengers will also enjoy the benefit of four retail locations, four restaurants and lounges, and six hotel reception desks. A state-of-the-art baggage delivery system will also improve the arrival experience for visitors.
When completed, the facility will have the capacity to handle 5 million passengers each year, up from its current capacity of 3 million passengers. Capacity for large aircraft will also increase to accommodate up to 12 U.S. aircraft (compared to five currently) and six positions for additional international aircraft. LPIA will be able to handle the new age of jumbo airliners like the A380.
In a country where tourism generates 75 percent of the GDP, LPIA is a very tangible symbol of the Nassau Paradise Island of the future, described by the RT Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe , Minister of Tourism for The Bahamas, as “an important foundation piece as we move aggressively to re-energize tourism growth.”