A need or a want? Updated

UPDATE: I just don’t know who to believe. The spin and counter-spin on this issue has really confused the issue (at least for me.)

We’ve had debates in the House that have left me none the wiser and we have counter opinions from the OBA, here, and the PLP, here.

I listened to Gary Moreno this morning doing a good job of putting politicians on the spot, and it appeared that the OBA did not have a grasp of what the entrustment letter required. It’s a shame that ZBM does not stream its news and I could paste a link.

……………………………….

 

I’m having a hard time trying to justify to myself why, right now, Bermuda needs a new airport – especially one that appears to incorporate a marina and a realigned Causeway.
Yes, there is no question that the work will employ hundreds of people, who in turn will put money back into the economy,
But there are two things that concern me:
1. How much money will leave the economy when the new airport is finished and the contractors take profits out to pay off their debt and give their company a profit? (Will we also see price hikes for parking etc?)
2. Isn’t it better to first get the product available on the Island in better shape in order to attract more visitors?

BermudaInternationalAirportUSNASBda1993

Some hotels are being built which is great, although at the moment the ones we know about are small boutique hotels.
So wouldn’t it be better to concentrate on an area such as the Hamilton waterfront? How about concentrating energies on creating a conference centre, shops, cafes and a new hotel there?
That would create a real visitor experience, create jobs, keep more revenue on-Island and perhaps help to raise visitor numbers – justifying a new airport.
I understand about creating first impressions and leaving lingering memories but personally I see the airport idea as a want not a need. I see the Hamilton waterfront as a need not a want.

9 thoughts on “A need or a want? Updated

Add yours

  1. Under the NON is proposed to be a marina “by others”. It’s hard to tell from the plan how much Causeway is moved – maybe just back to pre-Bailey bridge.

  2. It looks like the area under ‘Non’ is set to be a marina. Haven’t been able to locate where car parking would be set, there’s no accompanying label on the diagram.

    As for the design itself, it’s pretty ambitious imho. Marina, ferry terminal, change in where the causeway approaches the island, and of course the terminal design itself. I tend to like it myself, but I wonder about future costs, and if elements like the marina are workable in Castle Harbor (storm surges, how much dredging would there need to be, et al). There’s even a reflecting pool planned out for this terminal.

      1. When I think of things a ferry terminal at the airport would be useful for, I’m pretty much stumped. Arriving visitors should be taken by taxi/pre-arranged transport to hotels etc. And there aren’t enough residential areas in the vicinity to justify it as a regular stopping point for a commuter ferry.

        It does scream ‘vanity project’ if this becomes the final approved design, no matter the aesthetics. And like you suggested, on-island product is more important than a fancy airport.

  3. We definitely need a marina. It was in Dr Brown plans, at least a dock, so that hotels could shuttle guests by water, as they do in many high end destinations. This is all about product and first impressions, and expectations of wealthy travelers. I’m sure Cambridge beaches, south P, lantana Ham princess, etc etc would love to take their guests by boat. This is about thinking what we need in 5 yrs time and beyond, and yes jobs. Profit is part of anything done or built, so lets ignore that point. The Canadian Government agency guarantees the project completion on budget, how good is that. Perhaps the hospitals 100 Million overruns might have benefitted from that.

    1. If I were a guest paying high hotels costs etc I would not expect my lasting memory of Bermuda to be a boat trip to a ferry terminal at the airport, I would expect it to be of my experiences on the Island – hence why I think we would be better off spending the money on transforming the Hamilton waterfront (and maybe St Gs as well.) Don’t see the point in having a five star airport if we don’t have five star attractions first …..

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