Chamber President On Airport Development

August 10, 2016

“Despite communication issues by Government that may have prevented the controversy surrounding this project, a new terminal for Bermuda is required, and the decision made by Government to proceed, a sound one,” President of the Chamber of Commerce John Wight said.

John Wight Bermuda TC August 10 2016

Mr Wight said, “Government has presented plans to develop a new terminal building for the Bermuda airport. With any project of this scale, there are many issues that must be addressed before a commitment to proceed.

“Is the proposed terminal required? Did Government conduct the business case appropriately and provide transparency in its decision making to ensure that the taxpayers in Bermuda will get value for money?

“In respect of whether Bermuda needs a new airport terminal, the Chamber Board and many of its members feels strongly that the answer is yes. The airport terminal provides a critical port of entry and exit for residents and guests alike.

“In fact, it is our primary link to the world. If Bermuda is serious about tourism and international business, it needs to ensure that it has a properly functioning facility that meets the needs of all of its passengers that go through it.

“Whether it be the very high maintenance costs or the risk that the current terminal poses for hurricane storm surge [as evidenced by what happened to the airport in 2003 following Hurricane Fabian], there is little question that Bermuda requires a new terminal.

“Our reputation as a modern and desirable business and tourism destination could be damaged for some time if we are not able to link to the world.

“And with a three or four year lead time before a new terminal is completed, if there was any doubt about a new terminal being needed today, there certainly wouldn’t be in 2020 when the terminal would be completed if construction started in the next few months.

“The decision to contract with a reputable third party to build a new terminal and maintain it into the future for Bermuda is a reasonable one in the Chamber’s opinion.

“This transfers the risk of cost overruns and other unforeseen events from already overburdened taxpayers to the third party, and is similar to the model that was used when the new acute care wing of the hospital was constructed.

“The main area of concern with the airport terminal development model from the Chamber’s perspective that Government has proposed, relates to its transparency and decision to choose the vendor that it has selected.

“Reputationally, the vendor chosen was a well considered choice. They, through their primary contractor; have successfully built many large infrastructure projects, including airports. Collectively, they have a proven track record. And they have the financial backing of the Canadian Government.

“What is not as clear is whether a formal request for proposal process should have been conducted in order to enhance transparency for the benefit of Bermudian taxpayers; to provide comfort and confidence that the vendor selected and procurement strategy was optimal for Bermuda.

Video rendering of the proposed new airport design:

“In addition to providing transparency, a proper request for proposal process creates competitive pressures on a bidder’s proposed price,” continued Mr Wight.

“A competitive RFP would drive value for money and ensure that Bermuda gets the best deal. Without this competitive bidding process, we encourage Government to benchmark the terms of Bermuda’s deal with comparative ones, to ensure value for money

“Overall, the conclusion of the Chamber of Commerce is that despite communication issues by Government that may have prevented the controversy surrounding this project, a new terminal for Bermuda is required, and the decision made by Government to proceed, a sound one.”

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Comments (44)

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  1. What else do you expect, Chamber of Commerce supports U.B.P and B.I.U supports P.L.P.
    DE only difference is Black people flip flop.

    • Justin says:

      The only shame is that because of your beloved PLP we can’t build it ourselves because of the debt they put us in. I just wish Bob would have the courage to cut the civil service in order to balance our budget. Just think, if we cut the $200m annual deficit we’d be able to pay for the airport in just 3 years. Hello!!!!

      • Cut civil service and where will they work, you already promised 2000 jobs and unemployment is on de rise.

        • Justin says:

          “Sink or swim” would be the first thing that comes to mind. Your beloved PLP should have thought about that before they grew the civil service. Do you think the bankers are going to worry about that when they call in our debt? I doubt it…

          • No, but de tax payers will be worrying about de amount of unemployed people on social assistance.
            As long as people are working, they add to de economy.
            How about getting rid off some of these bloodsucking politicians, over 30 of them making twice and three times as much as us real working people.

            • justin says:

              Wrong, you are arguing that it is OK to give Keith money on your credit card – no matter how good your intentions are, you just can’t afford it! Paula, is that you?! LMAO!!!!!

  2. Terry says:

    Build it.
    People be nice.
    They will come.
    Your bread and butter.

    • They flock to de Caribbean and their airports are worst.

      • Unbelievable says:

        Your grammar is the worst. That’s what that is.

        • Ya, but can you refute my comment …… thought not.

          • Jus' Wonderin' says:

            What’s so nice about the Caribbean? Our beaches our better! Only difference is stuff to do and price.

            • And thats what attracts tourist” Things to do and affordable accomodation.”
              Stay away from debates.

          • Zevon says:

            Several places in the Caribbean have spent hundreds of millions on new airports.
            You’re clueless.

          • Unbelievable says:

            @Onion Juice, there is zero point in trying to refute anything you ever say simply because it’s just out right hyperbole and lies. Nothing you say ever has any truth or logic. It’s just stuff you “hear” on the grapevine.

            Go back to work.

      • Justin says:

        You mean on cruise boats? Or to places like Jamaica where they actually have better airports than Bermuda? Jus sayin’….

      • CBA says:

        For different reasons generally. Cost here can’t compete with other islands. But if we’re going to charge $1,000 for an airline ticket, we better have a nice airport to arrive in.

        It’s kinda like buying a car. If you buy a Ford you don’t expect to get a Ferrari. But if you’re paying Ferrari prices, you better get Ferrari quality or you’re never going to purchase one again. Get it?

        • Its me again says:

          We dont charge 1000 for a ticket. We dont charge anything for a ticket, the airlines set a price and we tax accordingly.

      • Zevon says:

        you’re talking out of your a $ $ . FLMFAO.

      • Terry says:

        Ask yourself why Juicy.
        Simple answer is it is half the price.
        But they have to live and swim behind gated and fenced in properties.


      • M.C. Beauchamp says:

        But their weather is oh so much better, idn’t?

      • aceboy says:

        We should never align ourselves with poor standards. Ever.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        People flock to the carribean because it is cheaper, and there is more real estate for hotels to build their enclosed all inclusive resorts. Where the hotels can pay their staff pennies on the dollar to the basic wages that we have here. Where some of the countries have let the Chinese come in to build these hotels, importing their entire labour force from China and housing them in container towns while they are there.

        Jamaica, Cayman, BVI, Bahamas, Cancun, St. Maarten, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic, St. Vincent, Antigua and Barbuda…. And more all have more modern and better rated airports than Bermuda, and we are supposed to be a destination a first class destination above them. Their airports are far from the worst, in fact, most of the Carribean’s major gateways have better airports than us.

  3. Lt. Col. D. A. Burch says:

    Just one question: How do you say that the whole thing isn’t transparent and doesn’t show value for money but end by saying its a sound decision? Bizarre.

    • Same way how they hoodwinked SOME fools 2000 jobs.

      • Terry says:

        Let it go Betty.

      • Justin says:


        • Triangle Drifter says:

          That was when the PLP promised that they would turn tourism around in 100 days. The suckers believed them. It spiraled downhill. Fast.

          • Hanbury made de same promise and we gave him $80,000 for failing.

            • Justin says:

              Does that mean Hanbury was/is still earning less than Ewart Brown when he was Premier, Minister of Tourism and Minister of Transport? Know your facts, brah. Your beloved PLP were a bunch of failures when they were in office. You and the PLP should be taking notes right now instead of blurting out the first thing that comes to your mind.

            • Zevon says:

              We gave global hue $30m a year for results that are being bettered now. Thst’s $82,000 a day.

    • Zevon says:

      What is bizarre is someone’s inability to read and understand what they actually said.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      I believe the answer to that is much simpler than one would think .
      The Chamber knows that if the OBA gov’t fails to do it now it will be done by the PLP as soon as they get voted back in .

      Then , hey presto , another 800 million goes unaccounted for !

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Simple, that isn’t actually what they said.

  4. Justin says:

    Interesting fact:

    Sangster International Airport is controlled by Spain’s Abertis Group. The company spent some US$185 million in investments and infrastructure at the airport which was originally slated for US$102 million.

    • Terry says:

      That does not apply here.

      Can’t you read and understand what is being offered by the company that will oversee the project.

      Onions must have the Zeeka Fleekah Virus

  5. clearasmud says:

    This is a weak attempt by the Chamber to appear to be Critical of the Government without being critical! If they read the Deloitte report which I am sure they have then they know that the entire process was flawed and the problems are greater than just “transparency”. They should be asking for an update of the governments efforts to fix all of the problems identified in that report.

    “What is not as clear is whether a formal request for proposal process should have been conducted in order to enhance transparency for the benefit of Bermudian taxpayers; to provide comfort and confidence that the vendor selected and procurement strategy was optimal for Bermuda.

    • LostinFlatts says:

      Where can one get this Deloitte report? I was unaware of it until now. Not quite sure how Deloitte would be qualified to speak to the engineering side of airport construction, but the contracting side would be interesting.

      • Onion says:

        It was published. The government commissioned it explicitly to help improve the process and benefit the project.

  6. Mr disInfran Chised says:

    SmH !!! Well if the general public weren’t given Fuzzy information from the start !! And if common sense and The minister wasn’t trying to bully us into believing his way was the only way! And Transparency was on the table !!! Hmmmmm ?? mental illness hmmmm? He better be right with his assuming that this is the only way !!
    No disrespect to him but it better pan out!!!

  7. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    In 15 years from now we can turn the Airport into a wax museum or save some cash and build a tin top city.

    As there will be significant changes in air travel, its called progress.

  8. the real Terry says:

    Lt. Col. Burch you just made my day speaking of transparency, I was remembering the “transparency” involved in the Uigers, talk about hypocrisy lol