Airports Authority Coordinating Development of Vernamfield Aerodrome

Story Highlights

  • The Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) is coordinating activities for the development of the Vernamfield aerodrome in Clarendon.
  • The entity is ready to begin fencing and other activities of the first designated 170 acres of the property after obtaining clearance to take possession.
  • Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral debate in the House of Representatives on June 27.

The Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) is coordinating activities for the development of the Vernamfield aerodrome in Clarendon.

The entity is ready to begin fencing and other activities of the first designated 170 acres of the property after obtaining clearance to take possession.

The budget estimate for the initial activities under the project is $300 million.

Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral debate in the House of Representatives on June 27.

The aerodrome is to be built as part of the development of Vernamfield into an aerotropolis.

“The Vernamfield aerotropolis is to facilitate operations, including domestic passenger and courier services, general aviation, an aeronautical college and flight school, and other services, all consistent with the designation rating of the aerodrome,” he noted.

The aerodrome project includes relocation of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Air Wing’s training facilities to Vernamfield and re-establishment/relocation of the existing aeronautical operations and businesses at Tinson Pen to the location.

Mr. Henry said that the AAJ has established a number of strategic priorities. These include determining the services/range of activities to be immediately transferred from Up Park Camp and Tinson Pen, and proceeding with plans and approved activities for establishment of the aerodrome.

Other priority areas include making the necessary application and obtaining approval from the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA); working in collaboration with the JDF and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to ensure the safety and security of the aerodrome; and ensuring that public consultation and stakeholder involvement is timely, adequate and appropriate.

Mr. Henry told the House of Representatives that the project will be undertaken on a phased basis.

“Phase one involves plans and activities to rehabilitate the existing north-south runway… to accommodate aircraft up to a specified size. The phase is to run over a nine-month period,” he noted.

The main features of the plan include rehabilitation of the concreted runway (RWY 36/18) and making it ready for JDF flights originating from and returning to Up Park Camp.

Spaces are also to be provided for parking and buildings for the general public, airside and landside buildings and other facilities for JDF and Tinson Pen staff and stakeholders.

In addition, space is to be provided for aircraft maintenance, refuelling and other activities.

Plans are also being crafted for the JDF to provide presence and security, and this is to be informed and implemented as per the outcome of the scheduled meeting and subsequent brief from the Chief of Defence Staff.

The AAJ has commenced sensitisation to stakeholders and the general public.

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