JIS News

Four new passenger boarding bridges, a boarding pier and an aircraft rescue and fire fighting vehicle were today commissioned into service at the Norman Manley International Airport by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. The new facilities form part of phase 1a of the 20-year Capital Development Programme for the airport.
In her remarks, Mrs. Simpson Miller described the new boarding facilities as a major achievement in the modernization of the nation’s gateways, adding that every step forward in airport development is of fundamental importance to our prospects for economic growth and prosperity.
According to the Prime Minister, a study conducted by the Airports Authority in financial year 2005/06 revealed that both international airports generate economic activity estimated at J$86 Billion or 13 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. In addition, direct and indirect employment accounted for approximately 23,000 jobs.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said during the past decade approximately $25 Billion were invested in modernizing the aviation sector, including improvements in navigation and communication capabilities and the implementation of access control and security screening procedures to prevent unlawful interference with civil aviation activities.
She pointed to Jamaica’s outstanding aviation safety record, adding that the fire and rescue vehicle which is equipped to cope with wide-body passenger aircrafts was part of continuing efforts to expand the emergency response capabilities.
In welcoming the new passenger facilities Mrs. Simpson Miller said the airport experience should be more comfortable for everyone especially mothers with young children, the elderly and persons with disability. She said also that passengers would no longer have to battle the elements of the environment including rain and strong winds.
“Anyone who has ever had to walk in the pouring rain (or ladies in a strong breeze) between the aircraft and the terminal building will certainly appreciate these new passenger boarding bridges,” Mrs. Simpson Miller stated.
Phase 1a of the airport expansion programme is expected to cost US$98 Million and includes the construction of a new departure building and lounge, a new two-level passenger pier to separate arriving and departing passengers and renovation to the immigration and customs halls. It also involves the upgrading of infrastructure including roadways, expansion of the public car park to provide a total of 700 parking positions and cargo warehouse complex development. Projects included in this phase should be completed by 2009.

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