JIS News

A contract valued at some $191 million has been signed for the construction of a 2,727.27 square metres cargo warehouse building at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, between the Transport and Works Ministry, the Airports Authority of Jamaica and construction partners HDB Construction Limited.
The initiative is intended to substantially expand and improve the physical facilities associated with the cargo business at the Airport.
Transport and Works Minister, Robert Pickersgill, speaking at the signing at the Ministry’s Pawsey Road address in Kingston today (April 21) said the undertaking which was part of the continued process of upgrading and expanding the Airport “will increase the operational efficiency of the cargo operators as well as expand the airport cargo business in general over the medium term.”
Minister Pickersgill noted that the Cargo Village Development was the “latest expression of the important work being done by the Government of Jamaica to develop all aspects of the civil aviation sector,” and further pointed out that the investments currently being made as well as those to be made in the future were “indispensable to the economic growth that is fundamental to .prosperity.”
He said the vitality of air cargo to economic success in all nations was evidenced by the fact that nearly 40 per cent of world trade, valued at overUS$2 trillion, was facilitated by air transport.
The Minister said the capital improvement works at the airport would enable the entity to continue being a “significant contributor to the national economy and to ensure its competitiveness with other airports both locally and in the region which are currently investing in their infrastructure.”
On the matter of the Government’s introduction of the Airport Improvement Fee in February of 2003, which amounted to a US$ 5 charge to each passenger leaving the island, Minister Pickersgill informed that $153 million had been collected to date from passengers departing the island via the Norman Manley International Airport. The revenue from this charge is to support capital development programmes at the Airport.
The Cargo Village is to be constructed at the site of the former Queens Warehouse, which is located east of the terminal building at the Norman Manley International Airport and will comprise a strong room, a hazardous items room, an auction shed that will be used by Jamaica Customs and a generator room. Additionally, a building for the common use waiting area and for accommodating the security personnel and an electrical building will be constructed.
Infrastructure such as sewers, a surface water draining system, an approach road, public car parks as well as an electrical access gate and an adjacent manually operated pedestrian gate will be included.The construction phase is set to commence in May and it is expected that the facilities will be available for use in July 2005.
Meanwhile President of the Airport Authority, Earl Richards said efforts were being made to ensure that operational costs remained within budget given the rocketing steel prices.
The modernization and expansion work constitutes part of the 20-year capital development programme valued at US$127 million, which includes General Infrastructural Development and Major Maintenance in addition to Terminal Expansions and Airside Development.
The Queen’s Warehouse, a 4636.36 square metres facility was destroyed by fire in 1991 resulting in the relocation of the airports cargo clients to various areas on the airports property. Come July 2005, all cargo/customs related operations will be centralized, further increasing efficiency and reducing the risk of losses.

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