Air Control Could Gross $25/28 Million

February 25, 2012

If we bring our airport up to standard the Government could gross between $25 million and $28 million a year in revenue, Transport Minister Derrick Burgess said at yesterday’s [Feb.24] post-budget press conference.

The Ministry of Transport has been given a budget of $79.5 million for the coming year, an increase of over $3.2 million from last year. The Budget shows an allocation of $19.6 million for public transportation, $19.1 million for Marine & Ports, $21.3 million for airport operations, $9.9 million for civil aviation, $6.6 million for TCD and $1.9 million for maritime administration.

“One of our major goals in the Ministry of Transport is to have a first class transportation system via our buses and ferries, and supplemented by the taxis and mini buses,” said the Minister.

“Also one thing I am excited about is our plan, our proposed plans, for the airport. To bring the airport up to international standards. All our air space is controlled by overseas, and if we bring our airport up to standards, we could gross anywhere from $25 million and $28 million a year in revenues I am told.

“That is a new revenue path for us, so we are moving in the right direction. That plan would take us about five years to put in place, which means widening the air strip and increasing the capacity of the towers. As far as the length is concerned, the length of the airport is in compliance as it is now.

“To widen the strip we would have to reclaim land. And we can do in the five year period,” concluded Minister Burgess.

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Comments (59)

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  1. Rummy says:

    Where is he and his Gover(0)ment gonna get the money.

    There goes the price of cedar.

    • Rockfish#1 and#2 says:

      They plan on:
      1.Reducing the size of the Civil Service to a size in proportion to our population.
      2.Reduce the size of our gigantic GP fleet.
      3.Reduce all non-essential travel by making use of modern communications.
      4.Review the generous sick leave/vacation sections of Government employees contracts.
      5. Reduce the salaries paid to our lazy,largely unproductive MPs.
      This list is just a start,I am sure others can add to it!

      • Rockfish#1 and#2 says:

        typos- 2.Reducing–

        Sorry, in a hurry.

      • Rummy says:

        Well, we can always tell who are thr pricks that post here.

      • star man says:

        … And call in all Govt credit cards!! Which I’m sure are abused to the max. I wonder exactly how much these PLP/BIU Ministers are charging on their cards. How about it, Paula! No… I thought not. Not quite there yet are we.. Transparency.

  2. Family Man says:

    Quote: One of our major goals in the Ministry of Transport is to have a first class transportation system via our buses and ferries, and supplemented by the taxis and mini buses,” said the Minister./

    How does he reconcile his vision of “first class system” with yesterday’s announcement of the cancellation of the minibus connection between Rockaway & the ferry stop and the reduction of the ferry run from 8 trips to only 5? (Although, to be fair, once you stop getting people to and from the ferry, there will probably be fewer passengers and hence fewer trips needed).

    Seriously, all of our MPs need to be drug tested. You can’t come up with this stuff without the use of some serious mind-altering substances.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      I agree! Government should be adding public transportation routes not taking them away. What numbskull does this? A tourist asked me in the late afternoon just the other day what St. George’s restaurant do I suggest for dinner for his family of five. The tourist also told me they wanted to get there by bus from Hamilton. Sadly, I had to explain that all routes to St. George’s stopped early & they’d have to take a $35 taxi ride back to town. I also explained how there aren’t that many restaurants left in St. George’s since governments limitation of ferry routes there. I did try to be a good ambassador & said they could go there during the day & see the historical beauty that St. George’s still had to offer but that still left them with upside down smiles because our public transportation put a damper on their plans.

      Ministry of Transport doesn’t need drug test they need IQ test because they don’t have the ability to use the brains they were born with.

  3. Old Git says:

    What we could claim as “our airspace” is debatable and probably subject to International agreements between the USA and UK. In the context of North Atlantic air traffic it would be very small, and I am sure that the airlines would do the math of extra fuel cost versus charges and just simply fly around our bit of sky.

    And what is going to happen when someone enters “our airspace” and refuses to pay – launch one of our fighter aircraft to escort them out. Time to recruit some “Top Guns”!!!!

    • Family Man says:

      That’s what Gombey Air is for. They’ll smoke ‘em out of the sky.

  4. James s says:

    They would have to say “Good morning or afternoon” when they entered the air space as well.

  5. James s says:

    Air space only extends 12 miles out from land according to everything I have Googled. That would give us a circle of air space with a radius of about 22 miles max. It should be easy for anyone to fly around that as unless they are coming here they are on a fairly long flight and 22 miles is neither here nor there. The only flights this woul affect therefore are those coming to Bermuda. Guess who will end up paying the tax? Us and a few air tourists.

  6. Soooooo says:

    Bermuda’s airspace is Class D because it only extends up 2,500 feet and within a five square mile radius from the geographical centre of the Airport. Class D is an FAA Classification depending on the aircraft that use the airspace and, all the aircraft that do use the airspace, have to conform to particular radio signals.

    Unless G’mnt spend a fortune to change Bermudas classification, and upgrade / replace our air traffic control systems we will never make real money from our airspace

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Soooo, the Minister want to spend millions on equipment to set up an ATC here, to be manned 24/7, to service how many aircraft?

      I used to listen to NY Center & besides inbound & departures from Bermuda there were not many over or nearby flights in transit durring the course of a typical day.

      I don’t know what the Minister is smoking but I’d like to have some.

      • NotDeNotDeNonUmUm says:

        Having the NY Center VHF here is a major convenience for overflying (and I mean within a couple hundred + miles at altitude). It isn’t a vital link though – the aircraft have other methods of communicating to them. Our airspace is a mere blip in the bigger picture of the Atlantic.

        Out air traffic controllers are top notch – really great people and do a stellar job. I could even imagine us having control over our little postage stamp of airspace for transiting aircraft. But $25-28M? – the airlines will ask ATC to vector around our airspace and the only aircraft we see overhead will be coming to or leaving our fair island. It’s a big sounding plan – like the ESA’s new “tracking facility”. It’s not your dad’s NASA and technology is such now that Bermuda is not anything more than a convenient runway in the Atlantic.

        Aircraft: “This is Gombey Airways flight #1 requesting landing clearance”
        ATC: – Silence
        Aircraft: “This is Gombey Airways flight #1 – do you copy?”
        ATC: – Silence
        Aircraft: “GOOD MORNING – This is Gombey Airways flight #1 requesting landing clearance”
        ATC: – “GOOD MORNING – Gombey Airways flight #1 cleared to land”

  7. James s says:

    Also overflight fees are charged for providing air traffic control services. Bermudas air space apart from take off and landing is controlled by New York. So it is only right that they should collect the fees. I assume then that they are planning on taking control of the space. I am sure that has a major cost associated with it. That must be the $25m they are referring to spending at the airport. There was me thinking it was for passenger improvements!

  8. Freedom says:

    jus another way for the Minister to give money away to his family

  9. No says:

    We could gross could being the watch word mmmmm!

  10. Soooooo says:

    One of our major goals in the Ministry of Transport is to have a first class transportation system via our buses and ferries, and supplemented by the taxis and mini buses,” said the Minister

    Minister Burgess said: “In our efforts to contain costs whilst still providing a comprehensive commuter service from Rockaway, we have reduced the number of trips from eight to five.

    This from the Transport Minister that was just handed 80 million dollars a 4% increase…. The users of public transport need better than this!!!!

  11. Down 'n' Dirty says:

    Many heads in the clouds ..

  12. navin johnson says:

    this is called looking under rocks or in the back of the sofa for money…..desperate for money…hey how about collecting soda bottles for the $.05 deposit? silly…

  13. Shaking the Head says:

    Let’s fix the Causeway first which is our lifeline before embarking on ridiculuous and ego enhancing projects. Unfortunately as it is now it is a perfect monument to the downfall and decay of Bermuda in the last 8 years.

  14. wpplrstupd says:

    f… you ppl like to complain.

    f… the OBA ,

  15. Hmmmm says:

    This is definately pie in the sky…COULD GROSS 25/28M. Reality is it Coule cost in excess of 100m and will NET about 3m p a which we will the waive to keep the airlines coming in and try and lower airfares.

    • Hmmmm says:

      Of course all the above is based on COULD as it really sounds
      Ike someone just thought avoit it and would stick it in the Budget. Where is the feasibility study, which WILL cost us money.

  16. In the clouds says:

    Wow! I’m not one to beat the current Government’s drum but how can so many people, who don’t know what they are talking about, express such negative comments! With this one, you might be pleasantly surprised! The investment at the airport probably won’t break the bank. If the plan is sound, the investment money will be the easy part.

    The Government’s main flaw, THIS TIME, was allowing someone who hasn’t a clue to make this announcement. Government LACKS talent at the highest levels of administration!!

  17. Verbal Kint says:

    According to Don Grearson’s book, the FAA pays to manage Bermuda’s extended airspace of about 180 miles radius. They practice control of flights in the airspace and charge fees for its use (30,000 to 40,000 flights a year). Taking control of that airspace locally requires a large commitment in infrastructure and manpower. Enforcement might be an issue as well.

    • James s says:

      I can’t see how we get 180 miles if the USA only gets 12 miles offshore!

      • Verbal Kint says:

        Just reporting what I read. Grant Gibbons may be able to offer input, as he was involved at the time of the NAS closing.

      • NotDeNotDeNonUmUm says:

        It may be part of the same agreement which extends Bermuda’s reach into what is normally “international waters”. This keeps dangerous goods (i.e. oil tankers) away from our shores without explicit permission to enter.

        Also, in former times with the USNAS in Bermuda the Americans would have exercised greater control over the local airspace when the military ran ATC. This was probably grandfathered in when the airport entered civil hands and quite frankly we weren’t probably ready to take on that responsibility full time.

        I for one would love to see a full-blown ATC facility here. But in practical terms, it would cost a lot of $$ and it’s really money we don’t have to spend at the moment for something that may not provide the promised returns.

        • Verbal Kint says:

          I couldn’t agree more. It would be a risk to undertake it now, when money is already so tight.

    • Old Git says:

      The airspace of 180 mile radius around the island is called the Bermuda TMA (terminal manoeuvring area) and that lies within the New York Flight Information Region (FIR). Like all countries our airspace is from 12 nautical miles off shore extending vertically to infinity. The airspace between all the countries is then assigned to bordering countries who can provide effective surveillance, control and safety (stopping aircraft bumping into one another) in that airspace. They have to have the technical skills and resources to provide that level of safety and control, which includes manpower, equipment, regulatory control, training and enforcement to name but a few. This is all done at an International level (probably the International Civil Aviation Organization) and is well established.

      It may well be possible that Bermuda could take control of the 180 mile airspace block, but it would be many years before any financial benefit would ensue due to the cost of implementing the requirements to provide adequate 24/7 air safety. Also, as I mentioned earlier, any flights travelling from Europe to South USA, the Caribbean and central America would probably just go around the airspace if the transit fees exceeded the small addition in fuel usage for the detour.

      As an aside the classification of airspace (Class D as an earlier poster states) is an International standard and not the exclusive preserve of the FAA.

      Also, how does “In the Clouds” know that contributors do not know what they are talking about? I suppose he/she made a guess on that one!

      • Verbal Kint says:

        Thanks for the info. I agree with costs v. revenue. It would mean any returns would be down the road.

      • In the clouds says:

        Nope, I can tell those contributors don’t have a clue just by their non-informed comments.

        Your research, however, shows you are commenting from a position of some knowledge. We can/should take control of the airspace around Bermuda. As for the ROI benefit, that may not take as long as you think. Bermuda already has some of the safety requirements you speak of, and has for some time. It will just be a matter of adding additional elements.

        Oh, and as far as “any flights travelling from Europe to South USA, the Caribbean and central America would probably just go around the airspace…” As I’ve researched and now become aware, actually the opposite is probably true. For some airlines, being able to change their flight path to overfly Bermuda would save them millions (and I do mean MILLIONS) of dollars in fuel costs.

        As I said, you might be pleasantly surprised with this one!

        • Old Git says:

          Dear In the Clouds, I suggest that you study the document to be found on the link (below) in relation to route selection and allocation on the North Atlantic.

          In relation to a sphere, the shortest distance between two points is not a straight line, but is in fact a great circle. Flights from Europe to the Caribbean and Central America are done on what is called “Random Tracks” and these have to be coordinated with daily changing North Atlantic tracks in the MNPS. Most Random tracks from London, Paris and Amsterdam to say Miami pass near to Bermuda and the crossing time of the Bermuda TMA would amount to about 35 to 40 minutes; to deviate around would probably add 10 minutes to the flight time, especially if the turning point to make the detour is 400 miles short of our island. A 777-300ER consumes on average 160 gallons of fuel in 10 minutes (more earlier in the flight, less towards the end). The cost of jet fuel is about $3.10 per US gallon, therefore the cost to detour would be 160 x 3.10 dollars or $496. Therefore any route charges would have to be less than $500 to make a diversion around not viable, and to make $25 million would require 50,000 overflights per year (or 137 a day). I admit that I cannot find out the current overflight rate, and would appreciate being educated on that matter.

          • James says:

            Again, you are a superb researcher and your facts are most likely on point.

            However, there are other factors which govern why an airline/aircraft type choose the route they fly. For example, the safety features/equipment available on said aircraft. Also the safety rating of the airline also comes into play. I am not sure of the details of each of these, nor do I have the time to research as diligently as you have. But I do know that for some airlines, being able to navigate to/close to Bermuda will save them money. And there are a LOT of daily overflights!

            I believe with the current overflight rate we wouldn’t have to hope for any airlines to “detour” to Bermuda.

            As I said you are on point with your facts but there are additional factors such as radar coverage, navigational aids, and emergency landing planning that are a part of the process. As well, we are a very tiny dot in the middle of a very large ocean and thus play an extremely important role in airline transportation in this part of the world.

            All I’m saying is that I believe this will be a very good thing for Bermuda, if what the Minister tried (not well enough) to explain comes to fruition. Perhaps we’ll all be pleasantly surprised in 5 years. And if we are we can all be proud Bermudians of fellow Bermudians!

  18. james S says:

    Thanks for that Old Git. I just hope that if the OBA do get into power that this lunatic idea, policing Chinese fishing boats and the fish processing plant are the first three things to be shut down!

    • Hmmmm says:

      I think these ideas need to be looked at for initial investigation and then a feasibility study. To clsim a gross of 25 to 30 m means a net of much much lower. Otherwise the “LED lights, I’m not going to benefit from the private legal action you are all paying for, going to have to bring in 2000 tyres hmmm” guy would have quoted NET. Issue after much thought is the amount of capital required up front ( We currently have minus one and a half billion.). I see these operations having a massive barrier to entry in terms of regulatory compliance, equipment, training, land reclamation, insurance load etc etc etc etc. If is ourairspace we should be currenly seeing a neutral position or some current upside for allwing New York to benefit from controlling it.

    • In the clouds says:

      This ISN’T a lunatic idea! In reality it is “ACTUALLY MONEY FALLING FROM THE SKY”!

      Have a thought and do some research before you just knock the idea mate.

      And if you still think its a crazy idea then you can visit me at MAWI.

      • 32n64w says:

        What are the visiting hours? Is there dedicated a wing for former PLP MPs? :-)

  19. Rick Rock says:

    This will obviously dovetail nicely with the Space Business, which Roban said last year was all set to become the “third leg” of the economy any minute now. Strangely, despite the huge importance of the Space business as the economy’s third leg, it wasn’t even mentioned in the budget speech.

    The PLP. Doing Less With More.

  20. star man says:

    The PLPBIU Party never met a dumb idea it didn’t like!! Here’s yet another dumb idea, that was not thought through, thrown against the wall to see if it will stick. Sorry, this “idea” won’t stick, it’s just another pipe dream fantasy. I cannot believe some of the crap this Gov’t dreams up… Oh wait, that was Burgess’s idea. Okay then….

    About 90% of the PLPBIU Party’s policy ideas have been reversed. You’d think they’d learn, wouldn’t you?

  21. Hey Bye says:

    Spend the tax payer purse on,literally “Pie in the Sky” failed crap shoots.
    It is a crap shoot government,just losses with tax payer money,showing no return on capital.
    No educated or strategic planning,just roll backs and right offs.
    This cannot go on forever.
    The cookie jar will not even have crumbs left.

  22. Hey Bye says:

    More Pie in the Sky crap shoots, with the tax payer purse.
    No intelligent,educated or strategic planning coming out of this government.
    If it don’t work, just roll back policy and right off tax payer money; that was spent in the implementation of it.
    The cookie jar does not even have any crumbs left.

  23. Triangle Drifter says:

    More desperation. The PLP is grasping a straws for money.

    All this stuff soounds wonderful to the ignorants who have no idea of the aviation business past the people they see from the ticket counter.

    Before the flaming starts, yes I have spent a little time working for an airline so the interest is a little deeper than the average passenger.

  24. Argosy says:

    “For some airlines, being able to change their flight path to overfly Bermuda would save them millions (and I do mean MILLIONS) of dollars in fuel costs.”

    So, what’s to stop them “changing” today to “save MILLIONS”? Any aircraft is quite free right now to fly a route that takes it over Bermuda!

    Please explain…..

    • Old Git says:

      You are spot on, Argosy. There is no reason to stop them overflying now. All this talk about changing routes to overfly and save “millions” is absolute nonsense.

      • James says:

        Watch out now Old Git, you’re starting to sound like those people before you who were commenting from a position of little to no knowledge. Your research elevated you from the throng. Don’t return to the masses!

        Mate, the more you guys make me think about this, the more I believe you’ll all be pleasantly surprised in 5 years. That is IF the Government follows through and follows through the way the NEED to. And that is a huge IF! Have a great day

    • James says:

      Argosy, (for example) there are some airlines that are regulated to fly within a certain distance from land because they do not have the required safety equipment or license to do so. (remember Zoom airlines flights to London, this is why their flight time to Bermuda was longer than the similar British Airways flights) So NOT every airline is able to overfly Bermuda as you thought.

      With the added equipment and functionality at the airport these airlines would be able to use Bermuda as a navigational point (as most do now) when designing their flight plans. Soooooo, if the same airline whose flight route from point A to point B took 9 hours, is now able to take advantage of navigating over Bermuda which trims that flight time to 7 – 7.5 hrs. That is a significant savings, wouldn’t you say? Not only in fuel but time and efficiency as well. Ask Old Git to do the math for us.

      But at the end of the day, even without additional air carriers using a Bermuda route, there is significant traffic to sustain and substantiate this plan. Again, you all might just be surprised in 5 years. Not just because of the financial numbers but just think of the additional jobs/careers that will be created. Think of the major step forward for Bermuda looking out from underneath moma’s skirt and operating and managing an international service. Think of the additional benefits that, in general, have nothing to do with aviation but could enhance our ability to protect/patrol our (and others) borders more efficiently. There are additional services that could be offered to international clients that they WILL pay for.

      If you actually sit down and think about what has to happen for Bermuda to control this airspace, you will see that many potential opportunities open up, some of which have nothing to do with aviation.

      • 32n64w says:

        As one of the most remote places on earth your geographical assumptions appear illogical. Please provide an example of a flight path that would produce these purported time savings.

        • James says:

          Well, not that air routes and flight planning are common to me. But in my previous post I did mention about Zoom Airlines and when they used to fly here to Bermuda from London Gatwick. Zoom’s flying time was, I believe, 8-9 hours while operating a Boeing 777. British Airways flights make it here from the same origin in 7 hours, flying the same aircraft.

          I believe Zoom, because of their restricitions/licensing had to stay with a certain distance of land, so their flight path took on a more northly route to Bermuda which was closer to Iceland.

          There are other airlines who are affected similarily while flying to their destinations. I’m not guessing and making this up. Take a look on the internet and see for yourself.

          This plan could be a good thing for Bermuda, for a variety of reasons.

  25. Argosy says:

    “Pie in the sky” one might say!

  26. Argosy says:

    James. With respect, your discussion points about overwater and/or safety equipment is off the mark and has absolutely nothing to do with Bermuda’s claim to garner revenue by establishing a “toll booth in the sky” overhead.

    Of course airlines cannot fly over water (or anywhere else) unless they have safety equipment! How will this Bermuda plan to establish our own airspace change that? When you stated: “For some airlines, being able to change their flight path to overfly Bermuda would save them millions (and I do mean MILLIONS) of dollars in fuel costs” I repeat: “what’s to stop them changing today? They WILL need the safety equipment today, of course, but the same will apply if/when Bermuda establishes its own airspace!

    And BTW, with modern SAT NAV equipment, no aircraft needs to “navigate over Bermuda” – sorry, that’s just silly! Ask Old Git!!

    • James says:

      Argosy I guess we will just have to agree to disagree. Perhaps at some point in the near future we could agree on this, when real world results are available. There is a lot of hard work to get to that point but I believe we can get there to make you and my fellow Bermudians proud! Stayed tuned….

      BTW, with respect, not ALL aircraft (even the ones currently being produced) have satellite navigation equipment (there are a few reasons for this). And this program is still being rolled out so there aren’t YET enough suitably equipped sites to make “SAT NAV” based airline travel the norm, YET. But there will be!

      Also don’t forget, AIRCRAFT ALREADY NAVIGATE OVER BERMUDA! Just look up, you can see them all day. So, as I said, we don’t even need any airline to CHANGE how they operate. The potential earnings pass over us daily!

      I’m just as disappointed in our Government as the average person, acutally more so. But the DOESN’T mean that everything they say is suspect or destined to fail. You have to give everything a fair shake before you call it silly.

      Have a nice day!

  27. Mad Dawg says:

    So Feb 25 he tells us Commercial Airspace could produce gross revenues of $25m-$28m within 5 years.

    And on March 1, he tells us that by 2017 “the revenue potential could reach $18m per annum”.

    So in 5 days the estimate has gone down by $7m-$10m.

    Obviously, this lying idiot couldn’t be trusted to run a vending machine. The fact that he’s a government minister is ridiculous.