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  • Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague, says the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) will continue to invest in the upgrading of airports and aerodromes, and reopening of airstrips.
  • He was making his contribution in the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 4.
  • “Not too long ago, Jamaica had 64 airstrips, then it went to 52, now it is down to eight. We are determined to open more so that Jamaicans can see a resurgence in general aviation,” he told the House.

Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague, says the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) will continue to invest in the upgrading of airports and aerodromes, and reopening of airstrips.

He was making his contribution in the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 4.

“Not too long ago, Jamaica had 64 airstrips, then it went to 52, now it is down to eight. We are determined to open more so that Jamaicans can see a resurgence in general aviation,” he told the House.

He noted that aerodromes are being improved, with pilot lounges being installed. “Our work has paid off. Tinson Pen and Ken Jones were recently used as part of the filming of the latest James Bond movie,” he said.

Turning to the Vernamfield project, Minister Montague noted that while AAJ is investing $300 million in the undertaking, the entity is not developing the venture.

He told the House that a “special purpose investment vehicle” will be formed and the funds transferred.

“The development of the Aerotropolis falls under another Ministry and we must separate the matters. We are providing some of the funds for this development,” he noted.

Minister Montague said that Government will also be making good on a commitment to ensure that the Lionel Densham Airstrip in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, is up to standard in order to facilitate the opening up of the south coast.

“Let me be very clear; this is a one-off investment, as we do not intend to operate this facility,” he pointed out.

He further informed that the Government is far advanced in taking over the Holland Estate Airstrip.

“This will help the Ministry [of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries] with the Agro Park investment, open a quick pathway to market and provide an additional gateway to the world-renowned Appleton Estate Tour,” he noted.