The first part of the process to select the contractor or contractors who will extend the runway at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport is complete, but officials refused to say how many contractors submitted bids.

Deputy Premier Dr. Kedrick Pickering, whose Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour is spearheading the 2,500-foot runway extension, said on July 24 at the House of Assembly that he hoped his ministry would receive “about five to 10” submissions from contractors.

The bidding process for the project, which was initially estimated to cost $38 million but is likely to cost more, will include an “Expression of Interest” step followed by a “Request for Proposals” stage. The EOI stage ended July 25, but when contacted about the matter, Arliene Penn, government’s communications director, referred this reporter to Financial Secretary Neil Smith. Mr. Smith declined to reveal the number of companies that expressed interest in bidding for the project.

“The premier will pass that information on to the public at the appropriate time,” he said through a receptionist.

See the Aug. 16, 2012 edition for full coverage.