Work on the upgrading of the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) is advancing, as the Government seeks to improve the air travel experience for nationals and visitors, alike.
The board of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) on Thursday (September 3) toured facilities at the airport to see, first hand, some of the improvements that have been made under Phase 1 of the 20-year capital development programme.
Director of Operations at the NMIA, Stanley Smith, said that a master plan was developed to guide the medium-to-long-term infrastructure expansion and upgrade of the airport up to 2022. It includes terminal design, phasing plan, passenger terminal development project, a new departure concourse and improved arrival concourse.
For 2012, the airport expects to achieve an International Air Transport Association (IATA) Service C level; 750 arriving passenger per peak hour design; 710 departing passenger peak hour design; 100 interline and transit passenger per hour design; meet International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) security standards; and accommodate 15 passenger aircraft, with three aircraft stands.
The objective for 2022, is to be able to facilitate 1,000 arriving passengers in peak hours; 1,000 departing passengers in peak hours; and accommodate 19 passenger aircraft in three stands
An IATA Level C rating means that the airport’s service is considered “good”, as against Levels B and A, which are “high” and “excellent”, respectively, and D and E, “adequate” and “unacceptable”, respectively.
Representatives of the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) and the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) attend a briefing session before a recent tour of facilities at the airport to view some of the improvements that have been made under Phase 1 of a 20-year capital development programme.
The estimated cost for the 20-year development plan for the airport is US$161 million. The bulk of the funds (US$121 million) are being expended in 2003 to 2009, under Phase 1A of the programme. In Phase 1B, 2010 to 2013, US$27.2 million will be spent, and Phase 2, 2014 to 2022, will cost US$13.7 million.
The Operations Director also pointed out that the various phases depend on airport traffic, and the need to continue from one phase to the next.
“If your traffic does not warrant to actually go to the (next) phase, we won’t go to the phase so if, come 2010, the traffic is not in keeping with what is in our master plan, we won’t go to that phase,” he said.
Mr. Smith notes that the targets for Phase 1A have been substantially achieved, with a new three-level Departure Wing officially opened in October 2008 and integrated with the existing Ticketing Concourse.
A screening and a new departures lounge, with food and retail concessions, is also in place and there is now a new departure check-in hall on the ground floor to accommodate travellers and well-wishers, as well as 66 airline check-in positions and nine boarding gates with computerised check-in and boarding facilities.
Six Common Use Self Service (CUSS) check-in kiosks; state-of-the-art automated baggage handling system; flight/gate/baggage information display systems; public address (PA) system; and closed circuit televisions (CCTV) have also been set up.
The facility also boasts an expanded outbound immigration and security screening; new escalators and elevators; and a new departure lounge with food and retail concessions on the upper level.
One the new fire-fighting units at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA). The board of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) and NMIA representatives, recently toured facilities at the airport, to see first hand, some of the improvements that have been made under Phase 1 of a 20-year capital development programme to upgrade and expand the airport.
The airport’s car park facilities have been vastly improved, to provide 700 parking spaces, while stand-by power capabilities have been upgraded.
Other new facilities and improvements include: a new two-level passenger pier; the renovation of the terminal arrivals area, including the immigration and customs hall; there are now nine passenger boarding bridges; new directional signs; new bathroom facilities; automated banking machines (ABM); upgraded infrastructure for roadways and curbside facilities. Work to modify fuel hydrant pits will also begin.
A contract has been awarded for remaining works to the arrival forecourt; external shops; north-south canopies; street furniture; and a tour bus connection pick-up shed. Cabinet’s approval is being awaited for completion of the works, which is to be done within a seven-month period.
Construction commenced in May on immigration offices, an in-transit lounge and other facilities. This aspect of the expansion is being undertaken internally.
In addition, a water storage and conveyance project is to be undertaken, involving the construction of water storage and pipeline to ensure the efficient supply of potable water and fire-fighting water for the smooth operation of the airport.
Presently, the airport has a storage capacity of 290,000 gallons of water with an additional 100,000 for fire use. The intent is to capacitate another 50,000 to 100,000 gallons to have at least 340,000 gallons, representing three days of use, Mr. Smith explained.
At the opening of the new departure wing last year, Transport and Works Minister, Hon. Michael Henry said that the new facilities was a demonstration of the Government’s commitment to meeting the global needs and expectations of the need for growth.
“This is very important to the travelling public and the general airport partners, on one hand, and in positioning the facility for privatisation, on the other hand, which is where we are heading,” the Minister concluded.