A new Fixed Base Operation (FBO) and private aircraft terminal at Providenciales will boost the luxury travel market to the Turks and Caicos Islands when it opens next year.
TCI-based M Aviation Limited, Turks and Caicos Islands Authority (TCIAA) and the TCI Government have agreed on a commitment to develop the new FBO adjacent to Provo’s International Airport, tripling the private airport capacity at the airport. Over one-third of aircraft movements at the airport already comes from private aircraft, despite accounting for only 3% of passenger traffic.
The new state-of-the-art $15m FBO will feature generous parking and hangar space for large and small private aircraft, modern lounge and crew facilities, integrated customs and immigration as well as full servicing of private aircraft.
It will be ready in approx. 12 months time for the 2012/13 tourist season and will support 50 construction jobs during the build period and employ up to 20 personnel once operational. M Aviation has committed to adopt similar local employment principles to the TCIAA Phase 1 project which saw a minimum of 70% local employment.
M Aviation has tasked GENIVAR, who recently managed the first stage of the expansion of Providenciales Airport, with designing their new facility. The land will be leased from the TCIG and the TCIAA based on the standard Turks & Caicos Islands Government’s lease principles for a period of 99 years taking inflation into account.
M Aviation is a Turks and Caicos based company owned and operated by investors who have already made significant tourism related investments developing a leading luxury resort in Turks and Caicos.
Governor Ric Todd added: “Such a significant investment commitment by a local company into our infrastructure shows that business confidence is building across the Turks and Caicos. The new facility will allow our islands to keep pace with other Caribbean destinations and play a key role in supporting our exclusive resorts.”
John Smith, Chief Executive of the TCIAA, commented that: “The private aviation market is showing tremendous growth as more and more affluent travelers wish to take advantage of the privacy, flexibility and convenience of traveling on a private plane. A second FBO facility in Turks & Caicos will position us well as a luxury destination for the future."
The new FBO facility is an integral part of the overall airport expansion strategy. Phase One saw the extension of the runway to 9,200 feet and 36,000 sq m additional apron to accommodate B777-300ER and B747-400 aircraft on direct long haul flights, especially from Europe. This phase was completed ahead on schedule and within the fixed price $36m budget.
TCIAA is currently undertaking minor refurbishment work on the existing terminal, leading into the development work required to facilitate Phase 2, the terminal and car park project. Phase 2 is estimated at around a $30-$40m investment with a construction time frame of two years.