Players in the international aviation industry have been notified of the Government’s intention to make Jamaica a force in the sector, rivaling the busy Miami International Airport in the United States as the regional hub for cargo and passenger traffic.
Transport and Works Minister, Hon. Michael Henry, said the plan for the air transport sector, as set out in Vision 2030, is to have a thriving industry, with Jamaica as an alternative to Miami International. “However, I personally have dreams and aspirations of actually replacing Miami in that regard. So, look out for Jamaica!” he said.
Director General of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) Lt. Col. Oscar Derby, addresses the official opening ceremony of the Third International Conference for Air Services Negotiations (ICAN) Moday (June 28) at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Montego Bay. The six-day conference end July 2.
The Minister was delivering the main address yesterday (June 28) at the official opening ceremony for the 3rd International Conference for Air Services Negotiations (ICAN), which is being held at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Montego Bay from June 27 to July 2.
He argued that Jamaica, with its “very favourable” geographical location, is well positioned to capitalise on the air traffic flows from across the globe.
Further, he said, with the container port in Kingston being one of three on the Eastern seaboard of the Americas that can handle mega container ships, Jamaica is ideally suited to become a multi-modal passenger hub.
“We are indeed intent on catching up with the rest of the world and hopefully, getting somewhat ahead. Jamaica’s extremely favourable position geographically . offers us an opportunity to make bold advances and take advantage of the really great potential out there for this small country,” Minister Henry pointed out.
He noted that the conference “is a welcome opportunity for the realisation of air service negotiations, something upon which success in the global aviation industry is critically dependent”.
“This is so much so that the hosting of this major international event in Jamaica is by no means a coincidence, but was achieved through a highly focused and determined effort to significantly raise Jamaica’s air services profile globally,” Minister Henry stated.
More than 150 delegates from 43 member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) are attending the six-day conference, where Jamaica is set to sign at least seven new open skies agreements, and open the door for another 20 or more contracts.
The ICAO is the United Nations agency with responsibility for international civil aviation. To facilitate the ease and convenience of member states negotiating air service agreements, the agency devised the ICAN, so that delegates could meet annually, at one venue, to negotiate deals.