JIS News

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  • Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, says the enterprise team is to conduct a thorough assessment and review of the recent bidding process for the privatisation of the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA).
  • Dr. Davies informed that queries and expressions of interest have been received from companies regarding their possible participation in a resumed bidding process.
  • Meanwhile, the Minister informed that the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) has been proceeding with its expansion plans.

Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, says the enterprise team is to conduct a thorough assessment and review of the recent bidding process for the privatisation of the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA).

The report will indicate the possible reasons for the lack of bids, and recommendations regarding the way forward.

Dr. Davies, who was speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (January 12), said he expects to have a copy of the report by the end of this month and “at that time I will be in a position to advice on the next steps.”

In April 2015, Dr. Davies advised that five international companies were shortlisted to participate in the bidding for the selection of a concessionaire to further develop and operate the NMIA.

At the close of the bidding process in mid December, no offers had been received.

Dr. Davies informed that queries and expressions of interest have been received from companies regarding their possible participation in a resumed bidding process.

“Let me reiterate that this will not be a fire sale. There is no urgent imperative to propel us to privatise the asset at this time. However, our policy remains to pursue the privatisation of the airport in keeping with the objective to introduce private sector management and expertise to improve operational efficiencies,” he told the House.

Meanwhile, the Minister informed that the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) has been proceeding with its expansion plans.

“The entity is not a charge on the budget and, in fact, it has posted a significant increase in revenues (over 30 per cent) and profits for this fiscal year to December 2015, while passenger traffic increased by 5 per cent over last year-to-date,” he informed.

He added that this positive situation is likely to continue in the medium to long-term.

“We expect increased traffic through NMIA as a result of the ongoing expansion of the road network, in particular the North-South Highway linking Kingston to Ocho Rios,” Dr. Davies said.

“In addition, the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project, stretching from Harbour View to Port Antonio, will also generate additional traffic through NMIA. These developments are not lost on investors, more so now that they can see concrete results with the completion of the North-South Highway in clear sight, and the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project is about to be implemented,” he added.

Dr. Davies said the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project, which is expected to begin during the third quarter of 2016/2017, will provide the “vital modern road infrastructure” for the economic transformation of the north and south eastern sections of the island, in much the same way that the Northern Coastal Highway has given tremendous impetus to the expansion of the tourist industry over the last 15 years.