KINGSTON — Minister of Transport and Works, Hon Mike Henry is confident that the newly opened and rebranded Ian Fleming International Airport in Boscobel, St. Mary, can realise its potential as the regional hub for private jets, while providing integrated services, such as aircraft servicing, maintenance and support services to the aeronautical industry.
The Minister's optimism is shared by top officials of Netjets, one of the world's leading aviation firms, who were taken on a tour of the airport’s facilities on August 18 by the Minister. Netjets manages hundreds of aircraft globally, including a fleet comprising some 340 business jets.
Mr. Henry pointed out that operating private jets was the fastest growing segment of the air transport sector and the business opportunity being explored was not only suited to the new airport, but was an integral part of the "interconnected multi-modal concept" being promoted by the Transport and Works Ministry.
"I am seeking to interest Netjets to look at this (facility) as an operational point, which relates to the servicing of planes and to base them…The idea is to see what the opportunities are, which fit into the training of people in the whole aeronautical industry and ties in the whole interconnected multimodal plan which we have in place,” explained the Minister.
Mr. Henry told journalists that the tour of the airport was exploratory, but with exciting prospects.
Chief Executive Officer of Netjets, Bill Noe, said that while Netjets was familiar with doing business with the two other and more established international airports in Jamaica, Ian Fleming was relatively unfamiliar.
"We've had one operation into Ian Fleming over the past year. Most of our activities are into Montego Bay and Kingston. So, we want to come and look at it and explore the possibilities," he said.
Also on the tour were representatives of the Airports Authority of Jamaica and the Ministry of Transport and Works.
By ALLAN BROOKS, Senior Reporter