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The Airports Authority of Jamaica has negotiated some US$60 million in loans from the European Investment Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), to finance Phase1A of the expansion programme at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA).
The House of Representatives, yesterday (March 24), approved a Government guarantee for the loans, which comprises US$40 million from the European Investment Bank and US$20 million from the CDB.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, who moved the resolution for the guarantee, informed that Cabinet had given approval in 2006 to the Airports Authority of Jamaica, to negotiate the loans.
“Over that period, there were certain glitches and there were certain problems in the timely approval of the loans and what took place since that time was that a bridging loan of some US$80 million was provided by the Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago Jamaica Limited (RBTT), Petro Caribe and the National Insurance Fund,” Mr. Shaw explained, noting that the funds were now available.
Stating that the loans have fairly attractive terms, he informed that in addition to the relatively low interest rate in respect of the European Investment Bank, there was a subsidy of US$4 million. “It fulfills a tradition of the European Investment Bank for such subsidies that come in the form of interest rate subsidies, or cash subsidies in support of critical projects like the one that is being done,” the Minister told the House.
In the meantime, he said that Phase 1A of the capital development programme at the NMIA should be completed in 2009.
The NMIA is the major gateway linking the country’s capital city to destinations worldwide.
The implementation of Phase 1A of the expansion project will enable the provision of significantly improved quality services and security requirements geared to meet international industry and regulatory standards, and to position the facility as a viable operation for privatisation.

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