Aecon: new airport could last 100 years
A redeveloped airport could sustain Bermuda for the next 100 years, a spokesman for the site's proposed construction firm claimed last night.
Residents attended the Anglican Cathedral Hall in Hamilton for the third of three meetings on the $249 million LF Wade International Airport project.
As with the previous events, the public were asked for their feedback on issues to consider in the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment being compiled by LAS Consulting and Bermuda Environmental Consulting (BEC).
Again, though, attendees were more eager to vent their distaste at the contract agreed between the Bermuda Government and Canadian construction firm Aecon. In response to a PowerPoint presentation explaining the benefits of a new airport, one 88-year-old resident said: “I've been selling for 60-odd years, so I'm familiar with sales talk.
“You are looking for some validation of your project and for what you have to offer, but I cannot give it to you tonight.
“From what I've been hearing, we've put the cart way ahead of the horses. This Government has made the mistake of taking Bermudians for fools.”
As with previous nights, common complaints at the meeting included the high cost of the project, whether it was actually needed, the lack of a transparent tendering process and whether it would generate Bermudian jobs as promised.
Ken Hassard, commercial lead of airport developments at Aecon, pointed to his company's previous successes with projects such as the CN Tower in Toronto and the $700 million Quito International Airport, which opened in Ecuador in 2013.
He said: “Parts of your existing airport are 70 years old. They've outlived their life span.
“But you have to believe that with 21st century technology and materials, and the experience of the developer, that the next airport could last a century.
“It's important to understand that if you're going to build an airport maybe once in a century, you should have a supplier with a proven track record of building airports.”
Jack Ward from BEC added that any further questions could be posted on the official “Bermuda Airport Redevelopment Project” Facebook page, where the appropriate technical experts could provide answers.