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  • The Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) is undertaking several preparatory activities for the Vernamfield development project in Clarendon.
  • Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, said that these include acquisition of private property and the transfer of crown lands near the runway, to allow for compliance with standards relating to runway geometry and Obstacle Limitation Surface (OLS) requirements.
  • He noted that concrete structures within the protected verges of the runway have been demolished in keeping with OLS Standards, while Jamaica Public Service (JPS) power lines along the Gimme-Me-Bit main road will have to be rerouted or buried, and trees removed.

The Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) is undertaking several preparatory activities for the Vernamfield development project in Clarendon.

Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, said that these include acquisition of private property and the transfer of crown lands near the runway, to allow for compliance with standards relating to runway geometry and Obstacle Limitation Surface (OLS) requirements.

He noted that concrete structures within the protected verges of the runway have been demolished in keeping with OLS Standards, while Jamaica Public Service (JPS) power lines along the Gimme-Me-Bit main road will have to be rerouted or buried, and trees removed.

Minister Henry was making his contribution to the 2019/20 Sectoral debate in the House of Representatives on July 16.

He informed that leaking water mains are being repaired in conjunction with the National Water Commission (NWC) and the National Irrigation Commission (NIC).

“All plumbing traversing the runway strip and pavement will need to be removed and rerouted through accessible culverts, in accordance with current international standards,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Minister Henry said that work on community roads is slated to commence later this month, and once the repairs are completed, the runway will be closed to vehicular traffic to facilitate rehabilitation.

“Traffic into Gimme-Me-Bit will no longer have the use of the runway to access the district,” he said.

Mr. Henry said that once the runway rehabilitation is completed, Vernamfield will have the third longest facility in Jamaica and will be the largest airport in terms of real estate.

In November of last year, the runway condition report concluded that the facility was in good condition after 70 years of being closed, and recommended rehabilitation by way of overlay options to restore its full length.

In addition to the runway project, Mr. Henry said that basic facilities will be installed at Vernamfield to allow for international general aviation flights, regional cargo flights, domestic airlines and flight training.