April 6, 2014 | 6:25 pm | Print
Above: Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie in Bimini for the inaugural night flight at South Bimini Airport (BIS Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Bimini International Airport welcomed its first-ever night flight last week.
The flight came following a series of improvements to the airport including new flight instrumentation and runway lighting.
The first flight arrived on Thursday night carrying Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie from Nassau.
The improvements at South Bimini make it one of three airports in the Bahamas capable of around-the-clock flights.
“Nearly 100 years have gone by without a plane landing in Bimini after sunset, putting the islands at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting visitors from around the world,” said Dana Leibovitz, president of Resorts World Bimini, which is in the midst of a $150 million hotel and development project on the island that included the airport upgrades. “With its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, these islands are home to some of the world’s greatest natural treasures. We’re making investments that will help bring more people here, creating new jobs and spurring welcome economic impact along the way.”
South Bimini Airport is also set to expand its runway from 5,400 to 6,000 feet, which would allow Boeing 737 jets to land.
Right now, Silver Airways operates commercial flights between Fort Lauderdale and Bimini.
Resorts World said the improvements would also allow aircraft in distress to make emergency landings, “providing an emergency landing alternative to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.”