Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) President, Audley Deidrick, says public-private partnerships (PPPs) will be pivotal in generating an estimated US$78 billion in additional investments needed for airport infrastructure developments globally over the next four years.
Mr. Deidrick said data from a recent Airports Council International (ACI) research conducted in 50 countries indicate that planned airport investments from 2018 to 2022 total US$355 billion, as against the required US$433 billion, based on forecasts for increased passenger traffic.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony for the second annual two-day aviation seminar, jointly hosted by the AAJ, Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) and Aeronautical Telecommunications Limited (AEROTEL), at the Courtleigh Auditorium, New Kingston, on Thursday (December 6).
Mr. Deidrick said the ACI, which represents airports globally, expects passenger traffic through these hubs to peak at 8.7 billion by the end of 2018.
Additionally, he said that at the current average annual growth rate of 4.5 per cent, “traffic is expected to double every 15 years, hence is expected to reach a staggering 17 billion passengers by 2033”.
The AAJ President noted that airports, by nature, require expansive and extensive infrastructure developments at intervals rather than incrementally, to meet passenger growth forecasts.
“Capital intensive infrastructure, such as airports, seaports and highways, can only be adequately funded with the help of private capital [as obtains with] public-private partnerships,” he pointed out.
Jamaica’s two major international airports, Norman Manley in Kingston and Sangster in Montego Bay, currently operate under the PPP framework, through arrangements forged between the Government and Mexican entity, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico S.A.B. De C.V. (GAP).
“This is not just a Jamaican scenario. It is a worldwide phenomenon that has taken on increasing importance and practice over the last 30 years. Jamaica has simply joined the game early, to our benefit,” Mr. Deidrick added.
Public-Private Partnerships was among the topics for discussion during the two-day seminar, held under the theme ‘Air Transport as an Engine of Economic Development in Jamaica and the Caribbean’.
The event formed part of Jamaica’s observance of International Civil Aviation Day on December 7, in commemoration of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s establishment in 1944.