Photo of Glenys Hanna Martin MP Englerston speaking in the House of Assembly on Wednesday 21 March by Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services.
Statement from Glenys Hanna Martin, Former PLP Minister of Transport and Aviation, Member of Parliament for Englerston, 22nd March, 2018.
The Tribune’s front page story of today’s date erroneously and deliberately seeks to mislead the Bahamian people on the role of the former PLP Minister of Transport and Aviation relative to the control of The Bahamas’ airspace. It was that former Minister who for the first time ever in the history of The Bahamas engaged the United States of America government to recover control of the sovereign air space of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. As a consequence, and after high level negotiations, in April 2017 an historic Declaration of Intent was executed between the two nations which allowed for the following:
1. The immediate exemption of all Bahamian-owned aircraft taking off and landing in The Bahamas from paying overflight fees to the United States government. This exemption has inured to the benefit of The Bahamian people in the millions of dollars;
2. The United States of America committing to working diligently with The Bahamas and ICAO in redefining an expanded airspace for The Bahamas; and
3. Joining with The Bahamas in discussions with neighbouring states in this regard; and
4. Committing to entering a formal agreement between the two (2) States wherein The Bahamas shall collect overflight fees for her sovereign airspace and simultaneously entering into a management agreement for a fixed period with the FAA.
The policy position was that in the interim The Bahamas would begin building capacity including the acquisition of the necessary infrastructure to assume full control of our airspace.
It must be recalled that it was the Free National Movement’s philosophical position that The Bahamas would never control its airspace. The former PLP’s Minister of Transport and Aviation’s involvement represents an ideological and bold departure from this unfortunate mind set.
We must therefore carefully monitor this government’s actions in aggressively pursuing these commitments on behalf of The Bahamian people.