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Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Michael Henry, has said that when the proposed Vernamfield Cargo Aerodrome, in Clarendon, comes on stream, it will contribute significantly to air transport efficiency.
“Vernamfield offers the only opportunity for us to build a runway that will be able to take the largest airplane built in the world, that is equivalent to a small ship,” the Minister said. He was addressing a forum, held on September 11, at the Garvey Maceo High School, in Clarendon, to look at training and employment opportunities that would be available under the development plans for the area, and the relocation of the Caribbean Aerospace College (CAC) to Vernamfield.
Mr. Henry noted that there would be reductions in the cost and time in shipping goods to other territories in the region, utilising the Vernamfield Cargo Aerodrome as a hub.
He pointed out that the courses to be offered by the CAC would equip high school leavers to gain meaningful employment in the air industry.
“This is a private sector driven avenue of training people to be prepared for the development of Vernamfield, and to fill jobs anywhere in the world. It is a huge opportunity for young people coming out of high schools,” the Minister said.
“Jamaica must grasp the opportunity to develop an aerodrome which links sea and air, and the repair industry, and I trust that the community will recognise that if you have to be relocated, it is a relocation to take you to a higher level economically, and we need the young people to register for these courses,” Mr. Henry urged.
The forum was organised by the CAC, which was officially launched in March. It is the Caribbean’s foremost training institution for aircraft maintenance, flight dispatch and cargo logistics, offering internationally certified courses. Part of its mandate is to satisfy the demand created for skilled workers in the development of Vernamfield.
The forum also saw presentations by Project Director of CAC, Dr. Meredith Derby, and Member of Parliament for South West Clarendon, Noel Arscott.