Quick thoughts on the airport deal

Honestly, I’m still undecided as to whether the airport deal is good or bad for Bermuda.

  • There seems to be agreement that we need a new airport and maintaining our current one would be very costly.
  • We have seen very clearly via various government projects over the years and highlighted by the Commission of Inquiry that the Bermuda Government is currently completely unreliable at tendering and managing a capital project.
  • We can’t afford to run up our debt anymore.
  • We need stimulus/jobs in a manner that doesn’t cost us money.

These points lend me to support the project, however

  • The government has not been transparent enough with regards to the process and agreements.
  • Releasing a massive document of schedules two days before the debate on the bill is not enough time for a fair review
  • The new airport gives revenue guarantees and makes wild growth assumptions as highlighted by Larry Burchall which puts us at future risk. (though of note, with respect to the lack of time to review, I believe Capt. Burchall’s analysis does not take into account the cost of ongoing maintenance and whether we’d need to borrow the total amount upfront to get the airport up to speed)

Ultimately, I’m not convinced good or bad and I think the OBA is spending an insane amount of political capital trying to ram the project through. Capital of which they are about as indebted as our government and don’t have the luxury of spending so frivolously.