NASSAU, The Bahamas and the United States have signed an air services agreement (ASA) that the Caribbean nation said reflects a strong commitment by both countries to the continued strengthening of bilateral relations and the modernization of aviation operations.
Foreign Affairs Minister Darren A. Henfield said the air transportation agreement covers a wide range of aviation issues, such as security, safety oversight, airworthiness, navigation, environmental protection and passenger services at airports.
“Although the number of carriers operating in The Bahamas is small, air services agreements hold great promises, as they allow our airlines to have access to the world and to allow foreign carriers to increase their access to The Bahamas,” said Henfield.
“It also allows nationals of the respective countries to widen their horizon and get to know people in other parts of the world, and to enjoy their culture, music and food.”
He said both countries are close neighbors with strong relations and Washington’s friendship was evidenced in the rapid response it provided in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Dorian last September that killed at least 70 people and caused damage estimated at $3.4 billion.
“They were amongst the first responders and continue to provide needed cooperation and assistance,” Henfield explained. “I take this opportunity to thank once again the U.S. for the many ways it has supported The Bahamas in Hurricane Dorian relief, recovery and restoration efforts.
“The Air Transport Agreement with the United States reflects a strong commitment by both The Bahamas and the US to the continued strengthening of bilateral relations and the modernization of aviation operations,” he said.
Henfield said in addition to the air services agreement, there are other agreements that will eventually lead to ASAs in the not too distant future, including one airline designation, two code-share agreements and 28 memorandum of understandings between The Bahamas and other countries.
Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said the ASAs pave the way for future economic growth and increased airlift between the respective countries.