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Story Highlights

  • Outgoing Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MBJ Airports Limited, Dr. Rafael Echevarne, says he is proud of the gains that have been made at the Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay, St. James.
  • He told JIS News that there have been record numbers of visitor arrivals over the past two years, and increased flights and connectivity “from new regions and destinations”.
  • Dr. Echevarne, who heads the company holding the 30-year concession at the Sangster International Airport, will be leaving his post in January 2020.

Outgoing Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MBJ Airports Limited, Dr. Rafael Echevarne, says he is proud of the gains that have been made at the Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay, St. James.

He told JIS News that there have been record numbers of visitor arrivals over the past two years, and increased flights and connectivity “from new regions and destinations”.

Dr. Echevarne, who heads the company holding the 30-year concession at the Sangster International Airport, will be leaving his post in January 2020.

He also noted that Thursday’s (December 12) ceremony to break ground for the extension of the runway was another of his signature legacy projects, adding that the airport will continue to be the best in the region and comparable to any in the First-World countries.

“I have had the opportunity to work with some wonderful people here at the airport and in Jamaica,” said the Spain-born Dr. Echevarne.

“We could never have accomplished all that we did without the invaluable contributions from some of the most hard-working people that I have ever met,” he added.

Dr. Echevarne is leaving to take up a position as the new Director General at the Airports Council International – Latin America and the Caribbean (ACI-LAC).

He is to replace Javier Martínez, who has successfully led the organisation since 2010, on February 1, 2020.

“What this means however, is that while I am leaving Jamaica, I am not leaving the industry,” Dr. Echevarne said.

“The mere fact that I will be heading the Latin American and Caribbean chapter of ACI…means that I will be very much attached to Jamaica,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said that the airport has benefited tremendously under the expert and professional leadership of Dr. Echevarne.

“It’s very difficult to find a more dedicated and hard-working individual… someone who had a vision for the airport and executed it to perfection. He will certainly be missed,” the Minister said.

For his part, Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague, said he will miss the many conversations and “unique perspective” of “an outstanding mind” and a true friend of Jamaica.

“Dr. Echevarne will be leaving behind an outstanding legacy of achievements as is evident by what he has managed to accomplish here at the Sangster Airport,” he said.

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