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Minister of Transport and Works, Robert Pickersgill, on Friday (Feb.17) broke ground for phase 2 of the Sangster International Airport expansion programme, which will be carried out at a cost of US$51 million.
The project, which got underway in early January, will entail the construction of a new ground transport hall, a new departure security area, redevelopment of the departure check-in and airline offices, installation of an additional gate at the northeast corner of the existing building, and development of outgoing baggage and departure check-in facilities. The project contractor is ASTROM Construction Limited.
Addressing participants at the groundbreaking ceremony, Minister Pickersgill noted that the infrastructure works were divided into six stages and should be completed by July 2008, in time and within budget.
“On completion of phase 2, there will be an additional 5,800 square metres of retail commercial space and this will accommodate 55 retail and service outlets, making it the largest in the Caribbean,” he said.
The five-year airport expansion project, which started in 2003, is being undertaken by MBJ Airports Limited at a cost of US$200 million.
Last year, the new south wing, part of phase one works, was commissioned into service.
“The government and people of Jamaica are really very excited by this project,” Minister Pickersgill said, noting that, “the increased capacity of the airport will further move it into the echelon of first world facilities, as it will have the ability to handle nine million passengers per year, up from the current 3.2 million.”
“The social, economic and cultural landscape of the island will definitely receive a boost when this airport joins the ranks of first class facilities. We already know that brand Jamaica is very potent, this is one more reason to make it even more so,” he added.
The Transport and Works Minister paid special tribute to all the workers, whom he said, have gone beyond the call of duty to ensure that excellent and quality work was being done. Some 500 workers have been employed for phase 2 of the project.