Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA), the airport serving Nassau and the islands of New Providence and Paradise Island, opened its new International Arrivals Terminal on October 16.
LPIA’s new International Arrivals Terminal represents the second stage of a planned three-stage, $409 million redevelopment of The Bahamas’ largest airport. Lynden Pindling International Airport is also The Bahamas’ main gateway airport.
The first passengers to use the new facility arrived at 9:03 a.m. on JetBlue Airways 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, according to The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.
Officials of Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) were on hand to christen the new facility. Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie and other government officials were due to open the terminal at an official opening ceremony on the evening of October 16.
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.
LPIA’s new, 226,000-square-foot international arrivals terminal follows the green design initiated in Stage 1 of the redevelopment, 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 have the use of the terminal’s four retail locations, four restaurants and lounges, and six hotel reception desks. A state-of-the-art baggage delivery system is also in place, to 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 aircraft arriving from the U.S. (compared to the terminal’s capacity for five currently) and six positions for additional international aircraft. LPIA will be able to handle new very large airliners such as the Airbus A380, according to The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.
In a country where tourism generates 75 per cent of GDP, LPIA is “an important foundation piece as we move aggressively to re-energize tourism growth” to Nassau Paradise Island, says the Minister of Tourism for The Bahamas, the RT Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe.