JIS News

Transport and Works Minister, Robert Pickersgill has said work on Phase 1A of the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston would be substantially completed, in time to accommodate the passenger flow that is expected when the island hosts the ICC Cricket World Cup in March 2007.
Mr. Pickersgill made the disclosure during his address at the contract signing and groundbreaking ceremony for the airport’s Capital Development Programme in Kingston yesterday (March 9).
The work to be carried out under the US$50.4 million contract, which was awarded to Keir Construction Limited, represents a segment under Phase 1A of the development, which has three segments.
Minister Pickersgill said the work, which was expected to commence by the end of this month, would include the construction of a new multi-level passenger finger (pier) for the separation of arriving and departing passengers. Also, four passenger loading bridges will be installed at the new pier, while the airport Information Technology (IT) systems, such as the access control and flight information system, will be upgraded. In addition, new baggage screening and conveyor equipment will be installed.
The Minister said other work to be done under the phase would also include major rehabilitation and upgrading of the terminal arrivals area, including the immigration and customs halls as well as the arrivals arcade, the arrivals duty free shops and offices, among other facilities.
Meanwhile the first stage of the Cargo Warehouse Complex, also referred to as the NMIA Cargo and Logistics Centre, was recently completed.
Phase 1A, which commenced in 2004, is scheduled for completion in 2007 at an estimated cost of US$80 million. Phase 1B is scheduled to run from 2008 to 2012 and is expected to cost some US$23 million.
Work under this segment will include, among other things, further expansion of existing buildings, construction of a new arrivals area and relocation of the General Aviation Centre, the fire station and other support facilities. Phase Two, which is the final phase of the project, is slated to begin in 2013 and end in 2022. This leg will involve additional improvement and maintenance works to the terminal, landside and airfield, and support areas of the facility at a cost of US$9 million.
The Transport and Works Minister said the occasion was a significant milestone in the development of one of the island’s prime assets and follows on the developments taking place at the Sangster International Airport. He emphasized that the expansion of the airport’s terminals were necessary as there was insufficient space in sections of the building to provide satisfactory levels of service, when benchmarked against internationally accepted standards set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
He further noted that the redesigning of the passenger finger to facilitate the separation of arriving and departing passengers was in line with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization and the Transportation Security Administration of the USA and the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority.
Minister Pickersgill said the present terminal layout made it inefficient and expensive to control the access of unscreened airport personnel to restricted areas of the airport.
“The factors and the fact that the age of much of the airport infrastructure and important equipment have exceeded their useful economic lives and have become unreliable, makes the redevelopment of the NMIA pressing,” he asserted.
Cabinet awarded the contract for the new departures building and pier to Kier Construction Limited in April 2005.