JIS News

The Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) will be placing focus on developing cargo facilities as the government seeks to increase passenger traffic through the island’s airports.
During this fiscal year, the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) Limited will be pursuing efforts to attract investors to build an additional 70,000 square feet of cargo handling space for commercial clients under a build-own-operate arrangement.
Minister of Transport and Works, Michael Henry, in his Sectoral presentation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (Sept.15), said that this initiative will be undertaken even as the privatisation process continues at the NMIA.
As it relates to the upgrading of aerodromes, Minister Henry informed that the AAJ has embarked on a programme to upgrade designated facilities to International Port of Entry status, as part of the overall multi-modal transport policy being unfolded nationally.
Construction work is ongoing at the Boscobel Aerodrome in St. Mary to extend the runway by approximately 1,800 feet, and to upgrade the terminal and airside infrastructure.
The Ken Jones Aerodrome in Portland and the Negril Aerodrome in Westmoreland are also to be refurbished, while the Tinson Pen Aerodrome in
St. Catherine is to be relocated to the Caymanas area, with the Port Authority taking control of the Tinson Pen lands for the establishment of the logistics centre.
“The AAJ is also involved in exploring the technical feasibility for an International Port of Entry aerodrome at Duckenfield in St. Thomas, and also the Vernamfield cargo airport project (in Clarendon),” he stated.
The Vernamfield project, he said, continues to attract wide-scale interest among both local and overseas investors, as the government seeks to establish the right blend of public and private sector involvement in the project.
“The main emphasis is on private funding, but based on the broad logistical and developmental issues involved, the matter has to be very carefully handled in the long-term interest of the country. These are the considerations now underway, ahead of the actual beginning of roll-out of the project,” Mr. Henry informed.
Turning to the operations of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), Minister Henry said that the agency recorded an operating surplus of $625 million for the 11-month period ending February 2009.
The figure was 216 per cent above the budgeted surplus of $198 million, and $174 million or 39 per cent higher than the surplus for the same period ending March 31, 2008.
“Among the major undertakings projected for the Civil Aviation Authority for this fiscal year are capital expenditure projects inclusive of construction and equipping of control towers at the Norman Manley and Sangster International airports, as well as the development of the aerodromes,” Mr. Henry said.
He told the House that due to the global economic recession, passenger traffic declined by 3.36 per cent at the NMIA, and 6.18 per cent at Sangster International.

Skip to content