JIS News

The Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) will stage a fundraising walkathon on Saturday (Nov. 20), to raise money for the ongoing clean up and development of the Palisadoes peninsula.
AAJ President, Earl Richards, told JIS News, that the prime objective of the walkathon was to draw attention to the Palisadoes peninsula. “It is not only the main access-way to the airport, but also to Port Royal. It is that feature, which defines the Kingston harbour. It’s a very delicate area and it has been designated a specially protected area by the NEPA (National Environment and Planning Agency),” he noted.
The AAJ’s interest in the Palisadoes strip stems from its oversight of the Norman Manley International Airport, which is the main business operating on the peninsula. Mr. Richards said that the organisation played a leadership role in protecting and maintaining the area.
Although this is the first staging of the walkathon, Mr. Richards said that his organisation hoped to make it an annual event. “There is an organisation, the Palisadoes and Port Royal Protected Area Committee, which is associated with NEPA, and they, together with the Jamaica Environment Trust, will be the beneficiaries of the proceeds of the walkathon,” he informed.
The NMIA and AAJ are no strangers to working to protect the environment, said the AAJ President, as “every year, the Norman Manley community, the Airports Authority as well participate with the Jamaica Environment Trust in the clean-up of the beaches and shoreline.”
“Unfortunately we have a tremendous amount of mainly plastic bottles that travel down various gullies on the other side, which is the Rockfort side of the harbour and eventually end up in the mangroves and along the shoreline and so we participate in this clean-up each year, and in addition to that, we are involved in the regular clean-up of that strip in order to enhance the whole environmental experience in the area,” Mr. Richards told JIS News.
The NMIA-Palisadoes Walkathon 2004 forms a part of the Airports Authority’s 30th anniversary celebrations.
“We thought that it would be a good opportunity to bring the airport community and the many other stakeholders and friends of the airport together for this very worthwhile purpose. We thought that a walkathon would bring people together for a wonderful experience, which would also be beneficial to them in terms of fitness. So, we say that the walkathon is for the fit and the fitless, so come and enjoy,” the AAJ President declared.
The seven-kilometre walkathon commences at 7:00 a.m. just above the Harbour View Roundabout and ends at the airport. Persons can register by calling 926-1622-3.
To facilitate a prompt start, the AAJ is asking that participants who drive, make their way to the airport, where they will be directed to a free parking area and then shuttled to the starting point of the walkathon.
“Arrangements have been made with the police for us to be able to walk safely to the airport. We expect it to be a very interesting, exciting experience and once you get to the airport at the end of the walk, we will have an open-air function where we have some prizes and surprises and fellowship,” said Mr. Richards.

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