Mayaguanians can look forward to jet service this year, Mayaguana Development Company vice president Junaid Yasin said.
Initially, up to 7,300 feet of the runway left when Mayaguana was home to an American military facility, will be reconstructed and a new terminal built, said Mr Yasin.
“This runway will be large enough to accommodate any large aircraft,” he said. “We are hopeful that before the end of the year we would have a 737 come in and land in Mayaguana.”
The Mayaguana Company is a joint partnership with the government in the $1.8 billion residential community development going on at Mayaguana.
Local Government and ConsumerAffairs Minister V Alfred Gray and a contingent from Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) attended last weekend’s graduation ceremony for participants in the shell and straw craft souvenir programme in Mayaguana and Inagua last weekend. They also toured the development.
“We are very pleased to be working with the government and our partnership is working very well,” said Mr Yasin.
“The government is supporting us as much as we need and together, in the last year since we signed the Heads of Agreement, we have made a tremendous amount of progress on the site.”
Office facilities have been set up, the company’s own power and water systems are running, and the asphalt plant is on the island awaiting the technical staff.
“We are very pleased with the progress and we are hoping that before the end of the year our runway will be complete,” he said. “We are reconstructing the entire runway and we are building a new terminal. Within a year you will see some major changes.”
Minister Gray, the representative for Mayaguana, pleased with the progress of the project, said he is negotiating a salary increase for the Bahamian workers.
“When the government conceived anchor projects throughout the Bahamas,” he said, “little did I know Mayaguana would have been factored into it so early. Every able-bodied Mayaguanian who has a positive attitude and wants to work is in fact working.
“Prior to this it was 1945 when the base closed. This development was God sent and I am looking forward to it growing from strength to strength.”
In partnership with the government, all the roads in Mayaguana are to be rebuilt said Mr Gray.
It is envisioned that more than 1,500 people will eventually be employed on that project.
“The salary is small and the people deserve as much as could be paid,” he said. “I also know that they are not yet making money at the company and so they have to go small until they start to make money, and when they start to make money it is expected that the people who work there will make much more money as well.
“While I am looking forward to better for the people I also have to be reminded that the company does not want to run out of business by doing too much too soon. I will always keep an eye on whatever effects Mayaguana.”
Inaguans and Mayaguanians showed off their ability to transform the top plant, shells, and items found on the beach into attractive bags, hats, jewelry and other souveniir items.