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Bahamas Receives Funding For Aviation Reform

by Phillip Morton, Investors

21 December 2011

The Inter-American Development Bank has approved a loan worth USD50m to support The Bahamas in undertaking its air transport reform program.

Explaining the purpose of the loan, the IDB's Esteban Diez Roux, stated: “The Bahamian economy is based on two pillars: tourism and international financial services, both of which are aviation intensive. The program will promote the development of safe and efficient air transport in the country following international standards. Air transport is crucial to ensure mobility and transport of goods, services and people in the country, as well as to integrate The Bahamas within the Caribbean region and also internationally.”

The government's reform program includes plans to introduce a modern civil aviation regulatory regime, create an independent entity to investigate aviation incidents and accidents, and modernize the existing air traffic control infrastructure. Government measures will look to promote competition, including by introducing a booking system to facilitate the growth of small carriers.

The government stated that in undertaking the reform it will foster a commercial and entrepreneurial attitude towards ensuring the economic and financial sustainability of the sector.

The IDB loan consists of two components: USD47.5m in budget support; and USD2.5m in technical support. The loan is for a 20-year term with a five-year grace period, at a variable interest rate, based on inter-bank rates.

Air transport in The Bahamas is provided by 17 international airlines and five domestic ones. There are a total of 53 licensed airports in the country.

TAGS: aviation

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