Checking in: Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell said Bermuda’s pre-clearance to the US is not under threat. *Bermuda Sun photo
Checking in: Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell said Bermuda’s pre-clearance to the US is not under threat. *Bermuda Sun photo

The redevelopment of LF Wade International Airport remains a top priority for Government.

And Transport Minister Shawn Crockwell believes that the latest round of talks with overseas developers to upgrade the airport could bear fruit later this summer.

Mr Crockwell also confirmed that there were no plans to close the US pre-clearance facility at LF Wade, despite reports that the US was looking at reducing similar operations across the world.

The Transport Minister said: “We have had some significant talks with other parties — although we are not able to say who at this stage — and they have been very positive.

“I hope that before the end of the summer we could be making an exciting announcement about a redevelopment project of the airport.”

The first facility on the site now occupied by LF Wade International Airport was built between 1941 and 1943 as a joint US Army Air Forces and Royal Air Force base named Kindley Field. 

At the end of World War II, the RAF left Bermuda.

The field, by then hosting civil as well as military aircraft, was operated by the United States Air Force as Kindley Air Force Base until 1970, when it was transferred to the United States Navy.

The Navy operated it as US Naval Air Station, Bermuda, until 1995, when it was transferred to the Bermuda Government’s Ministry of Tourism and Transport.

Destinations

Today, LF Wade offers a service to 14 destinations in Europe, Canada and the US.

Mr Crockwell said: “Right now the airport is not commensurate with our product at all.

“I am extremely laudatory of the work of airport general manager Aaron Adderley and his staff.

“What they do in current infrastructure is admirable.

“Redevelopment would be a major boost to the economy and job sector.

“Government cannot finance this project ourselves. But we are looking at some very exciting options.

“We have had some very good talks with potential developers from overseas that we think will bear fruit.”

Recent media reports have suggested that the US is looking to reduce the number of pre-clearance facilities across the world.

But Minister Crockwell told the Bermuda Sun that Bermuda’s pre-clearance operation was not under threat.

He added: “There is no indication that the US is going to reduce the presence of its pre-clearance system in Bermuda.

“Bermuda and Canada were the first countries to have this facility from around the 1970s and since then it has expanded and continues to expand.”