June 17, 2009
By Thomas A. Horne
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation has established a network of “gateway” Florida fixed-base operators (FBOs) to make it easier for general aviation pilots to fly to and from the islands. The FBOs have been trained by staffers from the Bahamas Tourist Office, with the emphasis on arrival and departure procedures. Up-to-the-minute customs and immigration information is also available, as are pilot supplies.
The first four FBOs are: Miami Executive Aviation at Opa-Locka Executive Airport, Banyan Air Service at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Galaxy Aviation of Palm Beach at Palm Beach International Airport, and Air Center/Fort Pierce at St. Lucie County International Airport.
“Our Bahamas-preferred FBOs have proven to be a great resource for us,” said Gregg Rolle, the Ministry of Tourism’s chief aviation specialist. “And the co-op initiatives with the Bahamas’ key FBOs, such as the educational seminars and trade shows, give additional quality of service to the FBO’s valued customers.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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