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  • Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, says privatisation of the Sangster International Airport and the similar action to be taken at the Norman Manley International Airport are to bring both facilities up to world class standards.
  • The Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston has been earmarked by the Government for management under private concession.
  • The undertaking will be implemented under a Public/Private Partnership agreement, with the Cabinet-approved Enterprise Team having full oversight.

Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, says privatisation of the Sangster International Airport and the similar action to be taken at the Norman Manley International Airport are to bring both facilities up to world class standards.

Addressing an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council meeting at the Iberostar Hotel, in Lilliput, St. James, on October 12, Dr. Guy said the move resulted from the realisation that private capital was needed to carry out all the infrastructural work that was required.

“Our airports were operating in an environment where they were not contributing to the Consolidated Fund and were becoming burdensome on the taxpayer. We needed infrastructural development and we needed better value for money, so we decided to go the Public/Private Partnership (PPP) agreement (direction),” the Minister noted.

The Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston has been earmarked by the Government for management under private concession.  The undertaking will be implemented under a Public/Private Partnership agreement, with the Cabinet-approved Enterprise Team having full oversight.

This will be the second such undertaking by the Government, following a similar endeavour at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, in 2003.

This development will include the extension and widening of the runway and the establishment of Runway End Safety Areas (RESA), all consistent with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) safety standards.  Five bidders, including two with Jamaican partners who are actively involved in aviation, have been shortlisted.

The five firms are from Europe, Asia and South America. The process is expected to be completed by early next year.

“We consider our private sector a critical element of growth and development in the country. Sangster is working, so we are now going to do Norman Manley. By going the private route, there is no longer a charge on the public purse,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Regional Director of the ICAO, Melvin Cintron, pointed out that over 700 airports around the world currently have some level of private sector partnership.

“You need the private sector to be involved. It’s very difficult for some countries to take up US$50 million from out of the public purse to pump in an airport investment. The public/private partnership also ensures good checks and balances,” he said.