Column: Jache Adams On Airport, Sale & More

March 20, 2023

Jache Adams Bermuda March 29 2021[Column written by MP Jache Adams]

Dear citizens of Bermuda,

The Covid-19 pandemic has undeniably impacted every corner of the globe, leaving governments grappling with economic challenges, businesses struggling to stay afloat, and citizens bearing the brunt of these hardships. In the face of adversity, it is the duty of a responsible government to safeguard the interests of its citizens and ensure that every decision taken is guided by the principles of fairness and public interest; ultimately delivering on our promise for a better and fairer Bermuda.

It is in this spirit that we address the recent development concerning the Canadian company Aecon, which has sold 49.9% of its shares in a 30-year airport privatization/concessionaire agreement in Bermuda.

This deal, which saw Aecon invest $65 million in 2017, has yielded a substantial return for the company, thanks in no small part to a provision in the contract that obliged the government to provide minimum revenue guarantee payments during the pandemic. In essence, the Bermudian government was compelled to pay Aecon $50 million over three years as air traffic ground to a halt.

While Aecon is set to receive a staggering $128.5 million from the sale of its 49.9% stake in the project, not a single dollar will be returned to the government or, by extension, to the taxpayers who funded the guarantee payments.

The sale price of the company has been undoubtedly bolstered by the $50 million poured into its coffers during the pandemic. And, if this wasn’t bad enough, Skyport will send the Government another bill in 2 weeks – to ask taxpayers to pay even more for the minimum revenue guarantee, just after they quadrupled their investment.

There are precedents for governments adjusting concessionaire agreements when faced with extraordinary circumstances. For instance, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans renegotiated the terms of its lease agreement with the operator of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. By working together, the city and the operator were able to reach a fair and equitable solution that accounted for the significant financial burden placed on the local government and its citizens by the devastating storm.

quotes J Adams March 2023

In light of this example, it is crucial for the Bermudian government to seek remedies that address the disparity between Aecon’s profits and the sacrifices made by our taxpayers. We must explore all available avenues for recovering taxpayer funds and establishing a more equitable agreement that truly serves the public interest.

It is our responsibility as a government to stand up for our citizens and ensure that the proceeds from the sale of Aecon’s shares are not pocketed solely by the company, while Bermudians shoulder the financial burden of guarantee payments. To this end, we pledge to take extraordinary action if necessary, using the weight of public opinion and legal channels to advocate for fairness, justice, and the best interests of our citizens.

In conclusion, we call upon the people of Bermuda to join us in this fight for a just resolution, as we seek to uphold the principles that bind us together in these challenging times. By standing together, we can demand a fairer distribution of the rewards of investment and ensure that the sacrifices made by our taxpayers are not in vain.

We the PLP Government stand by our pledge to the voters of this country to ensure we deliver a better and fairer Bermuda.

- MP Jache Adams, Constituency 19 – Pembroke West

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Comments (24)

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  1. Ringmaster says:

    Dear citizens of Bermuda. Such an arrogant start to a piece that showcases his frightening naivete and lack of competence and knowledge of legal and financial matters.

    • watching says:

      I am confused as to what was arrogant?

      • Ringmaster says:

        You don’t see arrogance? He was probably watching Gladiator, and sees the public as his slaves. This is the same person who a few months ago was trumpeting a new bank, Jewel Bank. Where is it now? All they can do is posture and gas light. Going back to a part of his opinion piece, why didn’t the PLP do what he says they now want do back in 2017? They knew the contract terms. Clearly he does not understand the law of contracts, or statute of limitations to say the least.

  2. Henoch Narmer says:

    I’m reminded of all the supposed great opposition to the airport deal prior, however once elected, crickets! PLP didn’t challenge the ‘secret deal’ in court locally or internationally even in failed attempts to right the wrong, the nation, the people were left dumbfounded and lost. Obviously a more shrewd, more intelligent, more business savvy, more powerful group, had taken us in for a negative financial hit long term, all alone.
    I’m reminded that the Demon-crats don’t hate the Republi-klans that each battles in a usually nonviolent war to win rulership over the exploits / exploitation of the masses!
    I remember how Rev. Tweed’s immigration status became, was fanned into, the big flame of focus and used with the airport deal, in an ultimatum on a fulcrum against canceling America’s Cup.
    Nefariously admirable skills, ancient political strategies /tactics that succesfully fizzled that momentum still strong after the HOA protest success.
    The very next day after that “Rev. Tweed/ Airport deal ultimatum” was clowned out publicly, the then opposition leader now Premier made a statement “America’s Cup… good for Bermuda..all Bermudians should support.. etc”.
    Since then the “airport deal” comes up as ‘election rhetoric’, an axe to grind, or a thorn in our sides against the opposition.
    I say both Parties should bear equal responsibility for the financial situation of the airport, either//// just gullible and asleep, which again which I can’t imagine but each are then responsible. In fact if the other Party PLP is actually so incompetent in financial matters to allow such to happen under their watch, why oh why should we pick them again obvious to see then which has the most game?!

    However, most pressing are the global recession issues not whispered or really addressed
    yet publicly by government, rising inflation, etc, etc. All the parties in Bermuda bow only to capitalist ruling elites while giving lip service to fans, diehards of the voters.
    Neither party has; restored citrus, fruited up our island like any other, initiated a fishing industry, implemented a national program for home / community gardening, implemented solar / wind hybrid home systems and or other cost effective sustainable energy solutions etc, etc.
    Any of the elected governments focus only on foreign
    big business solutions that benefit all, except us the people.
    There is no longer a party in Bermuda for the people, for the laborers who generate ALL the wealth of the planet.
    Our ports of entry / exit, docks, are foreign owned or run by foreign companies, our inedquate hospitals by foreign companies, our fossil fuel electric grid foreign companies, major grocers foreign companies, etc, etc.
    All I got from this article is;

    Election coming!!!!

  3. question says:

    The minimum revenues guarantees should be paid by the software company that received millions of dollars from the Bermuda Government and from travellers to administer the useless Travel Authorization form. There was certainly no health benefit. And we know it prevented tourism from recovering for the whole of 2022.

    • watching says:

      This is untrue. Don’t act like Bermuda was the only country to implement the TA- nearly all countries implemented a version of it for a period of time.
      And it did not prevent tourism from recovering. Our issue for tourism was/is the closure of SP and the fact there are no major hotels open currently. The TA fee did not discourage many from traveling to bermuda, but soundbites are better than truth.

      • Voter says:

        The TA was a discouragement only when the islands south of us stop all Covid requirements. We should’ve stop when everyone else did. This is why we don’t have many flights coming to Bermuda now. PLP Kim Wilson lock this island down like a hospital. Any bet she’s still receiving her FAT minister paycheck while the rest of us eat scraps.

        • PBanks says:

          Not all, but the point holds that Bermuda retained both the form and the passenger added fee for far longer (other countries kept some kind of forms, but there was no added cost to passengers).

          Getting numbers back up is the immense challenge facing us.

      • Question says:

        Other countries stopped anything similar at the beginning of 2022. No one needed anything like a TA with all its stupid rules in 2022. That’s why we had fewer tourists, and that’s why there are minimum revenue problems. The well-connected software company made millions of dollars out of it, and that company should pay the revenue guarantees.

        • watching says:

          Repeating the same lie over and over doesnt make it true.

          But remember your OBA leader wants to reintroduce this fee!

          • Question says:

            Millions were paid to the well-connected software company for a useless and counterproductive TA form. That is a FACT. Thousands of tourists were actively discouraged from coming here, reducing tourist arrivals significantly. That is a FACT.
            The well-connected software company should therefore pay ALL revenue guarantees.

          • saud says:

            “Repeating the same lie over and over doesnt make it true.”

            Then why do you and the PLP constantly spew the same set of lies?

    • Hey says:

      Govt would be paying more than the equivalent of the minimum revenue guarantee through COVID and today as would have to still pay the airport costs, with massively reduced revenue.

      If you start adding the cost of borrowing of $400 million to self build. Just that at 6% interest is a further $24 million to pay each year. Don’t forget you have to pay back the $400 million too!

      The import was and still is a good deal for Bermuda. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong. PLP have to up their game to increase visitors. Messing with the BTA who were doing a good job before PLP took over it and not welcoming visitors but making it a high risk that your holiday could be scrapped the day before you fly with the COVID rules has left Bermuda at the bottom of the ladder for vacation choice.

  4. Move On Already says:

    MP Adams and Premier on a clear path of gaslighting and stop the moaning. First, they are clamoring for inward investment to Bermuda, and when it happens, up in arms about it.

    But far worse, Jache, as a former “banker”, knows full well the difference between capital injection and net present value of future cash flows. Comparing the $65m upfront is not comparable to what the equity was sold for, which is based on the life cycle of the future cash flows of the project and ability to convert that to profit.

    From the Aecon Financial Statements at December 31, 2022, the concession right for the New Airport Terminal, representing the costs to construct the New
    Airport Terminal, had a carrying amount of CDN$522,875 (2021 – CDN$508,171) ~ USD$385M vs the current value of debt of $280M.

    If Bermuda Gov had funded this themselves, how much debt servicing would be on the hook, along with the maintenance and operating costs of the airport, the balancing of the budget would not be happening next year. Notice how its always the emotional angle that is played at, and have never released a single paper showing the financial comparison of the 2 deals.

    Take it/spin it as a positive that an overseas private company has a long term view that Bermuda is to see uplift of airlift to justify the valuation that they view. Throw in an EIC and call it a day.

  5. sandgrownan says:

    Do we really need to go through this ridiculous “opinion piece” and point out each lie and falsehood one by one?

    To be fair, it is the only political option the PLP have now and I’m not entirely sure who really believes this nonsense. Even amongst the true believers.

    Shame on Burt.

  6. Jus' Wonderin' says:


  7. comfortably numb says:

    So Jache, how come your ‘brilliant’ mentor didn’t seek out Covid insurance to cover the airport shortfall when it became apparent the effect would be global. Maybe your next essay could be on the ‘new’ hospital and the amount of money the ‘citizens’ of Bermuda will have to pay to keep it running?

  8. kevin says:

    Its very simple he is regurgitating what he has been fed crap in crap out ..plp faithful feed on this they love hearing how the “other Government ” did this or that no matter if its been distorted to death.Lets have them tell their flock how they screwed up 2.5 billion dollars and what we have to show for it …the hospital guaraentees make the airport revenue guarantee a steal
    the flock are gearing up for an election …another billion will be wasted away stay tuned

  9. Voter says:

    Does anyone know what the Government/old airport fees were to the airlines compared to what the owners of the new airport are charging now?

    Bernews can you find this out for the public.

  10. sandgrownan says:

    “…To this end, we pledge to take extraordinary action if necessary, using the weight of public opinion and legal channels to advocate for fairness, justice, and the best interests of our citizens…”

    Good luck with that! hahahaha….tears of impotent rage!

    • Jill says:

      It’s not luck. The public spoke last election and they will speak again at the next election. No UBPoba now or later. Now continue being angry and blog.

      • Double s says:

        Exactly! The public loves failure. You tell ‘em.

      • saud says:

        It’s not anger, it’s embarrassment. PLP voters vote for failure and poverty.
        The question is why?