KINGSTON, Jamaica, June 4, 2020 (CMC) – Jamaica’s Transport Minister, Robert Montague, says that airport development projects will be undertaken, as part of an initiative to improve and expand the island’s aviation industry.
Montague, in opening the 2020/21 Sectoral Debate in Parliament, earlier this week, said the new developments include upgrading the Lionel Densham Airport in the southern parish of St. Elizabeth.
He added that there are also plans to acquire, through lease, the Holland Bamboo airstrip, also in St. Elizabeth, for rehabilitation and reactivation.
Turning to the development of the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA), the Transport Minister noted that the Airports Authority of Jamaica is scheduled to complete some projects, already contracted, even while operators of the facility, PAC Kingston Airport Limited (PACKAL) implements capital works, totalling US$200 million, including runway expansion.
“However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have agreed to postpone the start-up date,” he said.
NMIA, for the first time, last year, was certified as an aerodrome operator, by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority. The Aerodrome Operator Certificate (AOC), dated October 4, 2019, expires on October 3.
As it relates to Sangster International Airport, Montague informed that MBJ Airports Limited (MBJ), which operates the airport, commenced a US$70-million, 24-month runway extension and shoreline protection project.
A Master Plan airport expansion program, estimated at US$100 million, was slated to commence this year, but has been deferred, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, he noted.
MBJ Airports Limited won the 2020 World Travel Awards, as the Leading Caribbean Airport for the 13th successive year.