Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague, says the opening of the new air traffic control tower at the Sangster International Airport (SIA) marks a new milestone in the country’s aviation sector.
Speaking at the opening ceremony at the airport on May 17, Mr. Montague said that both the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) and Sangster towers enhance the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority’s (JCAA) ability to fulfil its mandate of “ensuring that the public is provided with a safe, reliable, efficient and user-friendly air-transport system that meets the standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)”.
“Today marks an important milestone for the nation’s aviation sector. Following the commissioning and official opening of the Norman Manley International Airport Air Control Tower in 2016, it is only fitting that the third-largest airport in the region be equipped with the best technology to match that of our other international airport, to effectively carry out its functions,” Mr. Montague said.
The Minister noted that the Sangster Airport is now being successfully managed by a private entity (MBJ Airports Limited), adding that “they are determined to give the 30 airlines and the 4.2 million passengers who use the airport annually the true ‘Irie’ experience”.
“This is no idle boast, as, since 2003 when they assumed management of the airport, it has won the award of being the Caribbean’s leading airport at the World Travel Awards in 2005, 2009 and 2017,” he said.
The Minister emphasised that the new tower “will certainly enhance” the safe and efficient conduct of Jamaica’s air-navigation services, which “boast a modern, state-of-the-art air traffic control (ATC) environment, complete with all the requisite telecommunications, navigation and surveillance systems, equipment and facilities”.
Mr. Montague said the new tower was built at a cost of $2.57 billion by Canadian firm, Intelcan Technosystems, a leading communications, navigation and surveillance and air traffic management solutions provider.
“We have installed instrument landing systems at both airports, upgraded the Civil Aviation Training Institute with radar simulators, increased tutors and introduced new courses,” the Minister said.“We are, therefore, laying the foundation to continually be leaders in the aviation industry. This Government is determined to ensure that our aviation industry that operates on behalf of our people is safe, modern and leads the world,” he added.