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FES Construction Company Limited awarded contract to construct new Marsh Harbour Airport Terminal
  
Friday, 02 September 2011 17:37

Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham was the keynote speaker at the Marsh Harbour Airport Terminal, Air Traffic Control Tower and Fire/Crash Rescue Facility contract signing ceremony in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Thursday, September 1.  (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson) MARSH HARBOUR, Abaco -- Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham announced that the FES Construction Company Limited out of Freeport, Grand Bahama has been awarded the contract for $27.3 million to construct the Marsh Harbour Airport Terminal, Air Traffic Control Tower and Fire/Crash Rescue Facility.

The new facility will be named the Leonard M. Thompson International Airport after the man who “singlehandedly has done a great deal to improve and expand the economy of Abaco,” Prime Minister Ingraham said during the contract signing ceremony at the new terminal site, Thursday, September 1.

“Mr Thompson was the one who brought us the largest single development on Abaco Island,” he said.

The principals of FES Construction, Fletcher McIntosh and James Edgecombe, are originally from Abaco.

“I have reminded them that we fully expect that they will use this opportunity afforded them to train and transfer skills and trades to other Abaconians and residents of Abaco and to maximise the use of local subcontractors and suppliers of goods and services to the construction sector,” Prime Minister Ingraham said.

“We are using this opportunity to attach to this project 30 or more training positions out of the Government’s Job Training Programme,” he said.

 

They will be trained in trades: masonry, plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning, tile laying, carpentry, and other allied building trades.

 

The Prime Minister said, “We must have sufficient skills in Abaco to meet our requirements and demands. For me, it is irksome and unacceptable to have so few Bahamian masons on the mainland of Abaco. We expect that the 30 new trained persons together with others engaged by FES for this project will enure to the benefit of Abaco and its economy.”

He explained that planning for the terminal has not been easy. “Trying to reconcile these different points of view has not been an easy task – sometimes I thought it impossible. Still, at the end of the day I believe that we have arrived at a consensus right here in Central Abaco; this decision will benefit Abaco and indeed, The Bahamas.

Prime Minister Ingraham also noted that Central Abaco is growing in importance as an economic centre in The Bahamas and the Government is committed to ensuring Central Abaco has the infrastructure befitting its stature.

“According to the 2010 Census, the population of Abaco has increased by some 21 per cent since the 2000 Census. Much of that is accounted for in Central Abaco. Indeed, Abaco’s population is exploding. My constituency which had 1,400 registered voters upon my election to Parliament in 1977 will now have nearly 4,000 registered voters in 2012,” he said.

“All of the developments we are undertaking here in Central Abaco are part of a planned new township. Before the end of this year we will begin the construction of the new hospital. A new road is being constructed to connect to the S.C. Bootle Highway and Forest Drive.”

FES Construction Company Limited out of Freeport, Grand Bahama has been awarded the contract for $27.3 million to construct the Marsh Harbour Airport Terminal, Air Traffic Control Tower and Fire/Crash Rescue Facility.  Shown signing the contracts from left are Minister of Tourism and Aviation the Hon. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace; Principal, FES Construction Company Limited, Fletcher McIntosh; Minister of Public Works and Transport the Hon. Neko Grant and Permanent Secretary, Colin Higgs.  (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)The Prime Minister said it is time to look beyond individual townships of Marsh Harbour, Dundas and Murphy Town much as those who live in New Providence now accept that the city of Nassau is the island of New Providence – no more planning just for a single township of Grants Town, Bain Town, Fox Hill or Carmichael Village.

“I am certain that there will be changes to the plan in the years ahead, adjustments and alterations to meet changing needs and demands. Today, we are putting the necessary infrastructure in place to facilitate and accommodate the plan; there will be no stopping your development, he said.

“Artificial boundaries created by roads must not be permitted to determine our future. Land is what is required for expansion and we have an abundance of government-owned land in Central Abaco.”

The Prime Minister added, “When the sidewalks along Forest Drive are completed to better accommodate pedestrians, and school children in particular, we will black top your roads in Dundas and Murphy Town and in Marsh Harbour; and Sweeting’s Village will get potable water and drivable roads.”

Minister of Public Works and Transport the Hon. Neko Grant; Minister of Tourism and Aviation the Hon. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace and Member of Parliament, South Abaco and Chairman, the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation, Edison Key were in attendance at the ceremony.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Colin Higgs; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, Hyacinth Pratt, other senior government officials and technical staff, as well as Local Government representatives were also in attendance.

Photo 1: Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham was the keynote speaker at the Marsh Harbour Airport Terminal, Air Traffic Control Tower and Fire/Crash Rescue Facility contract signing ceremony in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Thursday, September 1. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

Photo 2: FES Construction Company Limited out of Freeport, Grand Bahama has been awarded the contract for $27.3 million to construct the Marsh Harbour Airport Terminal, Air Traffic Control Tower and Fire/Crash Rescue Facility. Shown signing the contracts from left are Minister of Tourism and Aviation the Hon. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace; Principal, FES Construction Company Limited, Fletcher McIntosh; Minister of Public Works and Transport the Hon. Neko Grant and Permanent Secretary, Colin Higgs. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

Remarks by THE RT. HON. HUBERT A. INGRAHAM, MP
PRIME MINISTER OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS AT THE CONTRACT SIGNING CEREMONY FOR
CONSTRUCTION OF THE MARSH HARBOUR AIRPORT TERMINAL BUILDING, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER & FIRE/CRASH RESCUE FACILITY
 
Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a pleasure for me to participate in this contract signing ceremony for construction of the Marsh Harbor Airport Terminal, Air Traffic Control Tower and Fire/Crash Rescue Facility.

This airport terminal has been a long time coming.

I thank all who have been involved in the development of the scope of works for this important facility: the Abaco Chamber of Commerce, members of Local Government, leaders in the community and of course, the Architects Incorporated, (sub-contractors) Veritas Consultants Limited, the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Neko Grant and the team at the Ministry of Public Works & Transport, the Civil Aviation Department, the Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) and other Government agencies who have all contributed to various aspects of this project.

Planning for this terminal has not been easy.  Points of view as to when, how and where this facility and new airport ought to be located expressed over the past years and months have been as far apart as east is to west.  Trying to reconcile these different points of view has not been an easy task – sometimes I thought it impossible.  Still, at the end of the day I believe that we have arrived at a consensus right here in Central Abaco; this decision will benefit Abaco and indeed, The Bahamas.

It is important for all of us to recognize the importance of air service to Abaco’s economy and to that of The Bahamas.  This airport facility located in the environs of Marsh Harbour, Murphy and Dundas Towns, and Spring City is a service centre for these communities, for the new development at Winding Bay and for the Cays: Great Guana Cay, Man-o-War Cay, Hope Town, and Cherokee Sound and at times, to all of Abaco.

I must say that it has not been easy to determine the priorities for infrastructure development in Central Abaco – demonstrating, I might say, how great the needs were when we began to plan for Central Abaco’s infrastructure during my first term in office.

When we responded to the unmet need and the great and increasing demand for housing with the creation of a new housing subdivision with 450 lots, now called Central Pines, we were told that we should have built the terminal instead.

When we responded to the urgent need for proper port facilities for Central Abaco by constructing the modern, well equipped Marsh Harbour Port Facility, we were told that we should have built the terminal instead.

We heard similar advice when we began construction of the new Government Administrative Centre which will improve the timely and efficient delivery of government services to the public.

Indeed, just yesterday, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene a resident of Hope Town told my office that getting the sand removed from the road at White Sound should take precedence over the terminal.

Well we are doing both, moving the sand and proceeding with this contract signing for the construction of the new international Terminal and Air Traffic Control Tower and Fire/Crash Rescue Facility.

It is clear to all who would see that Central Abaco is growing in importance as an economic centre in The Bahamas. The Government is committed to ensuring that Central Abaco has the infrastructure befitting its stature.

According to the 2010 Census, the population of Abaco has increased by some 21% since the 2000 Census. Much of that is accounted for in Central Abaco. Indeed, Abaco’s population is exploding.  My constituency which had 1,400 registered voters upon my election to Parliament in 1977 will now have nearly 4,000 registered voters in 2012.

All of the developments we are undertaking here in Central Abaco are part of a planned new Township.  Before the end of this year we will begin the construction of the new hospital.  A new road is being constructed to connect to the S.C. Bootle Highway and Forest Drive.  

Clearly we must begin to look beyond our individual Townships of Marsh Harbour, Dundas and Murphy Town much as those who live in New Providence now accept that the city of Nassau is the island of New Providence – no more planning just for a single township of Grants Town, Bain Town, Fox Hill or Carmichael Village.

I am certain that there will be changes to the plan in the years ahead, adjustments and alterations to meet changing needs and demands. Today, we are putting the necessary infrastructure in place to facilitate and accommodate the plan; there will be no stopping your development.  

Artificial boundaries created by roads must not be permitted to determine our future.  Land is what is required for expansion and we have an abundance of Government-owned land in Central Abaco.

When the sidewalks along Forest Drive are completed to better accommodate pedestrians and school children in particular, we will black top your roads in Dundas and Murphy Town and in Marsh Harbour; and Sweeting’s Village will get potable water and drivable roads.

I want to thank former, Member of parliament Robert Sweeting, and Mr. Edison Key, the Member of Parliament for South Abaco for the important contribution they have made in the development of this facility.

I am very pleased that this airport facility has permitted us to award this contract to FES Construction out of Grand Bahama.  The principals of FES, as you all know, are two Abaco boys from Cooper’s Town, Fletcher McIntosh and James Edgecombe.  They left Abaco in the 1960s looking for opportunity in Freeport.  They learned a trade and some skills and became important movers in the construction sector there.  Today they are the owners of a leading construction company in Grand Bahama.

This project provides them the opportunity to return home to create a quality facility for Abaco.

I have reminded them that we fully expect that they will use this opportunity afforded them to train and transfer skills and trades to other Abaconians and residents of Abaco and to maximize the use of local subcontractors and suppliers of goods and services to the construction sector.

We are using this opportunity to attach to this project 30 or more training positions out of the Government’s Job Training Programme. They will be trained in trades: masonry, plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning, tile laying, carpentry, and other allied building trades.  We must have sufficient skills in Abaco to meet our requirements and demands.  For me it is irksome and unacceptable to have so few Bahamian masons on the mainland of Abaco. We expect that the 30 new trained persons together with others engaged by FES for this project will enure to the benefit of Abaco and its economy.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

While The Bahamas like other countries has been confronted with the effects of the current global economic downturn, we remain optimistic that better days lie ahead.  The continued development of various industries on this island over the years places Abaco in a favorable position for further growth as our country’s economy turns around and rebounds.  We intend for you to be ready for that growth and expansion with adequate infrastructure and efficient services.  

I take this opportunity to congratulate FES Construction Company Limited on the award of this contract to construct the new Marsh Harbour Airport Terminal, Air Traffic Control Tower and Fire/Crash Rescue Facility.    

And finally, I advise that we have given consideration to what this new facility and this airport should be called.  We have determined that one name and one man stood out above all others.  He is the man who singlehandedly has done a great deal to improve and expand the economy of Abaco.  He was the one who brought us the largest single development on Abaco Island. So I am very pleased and indeed very happy to advise that upon the completion of this airport and terminal they will be named the Leonard M. Thompson International Airport.

Thank you!

 


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