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Montague seeks to overhaul Jamaica aviation sector

Montague seeks to overhaul Jamaica aviation sector

Jamaica minister of transport and mining, Robert Montague, has revealed airport development projects will be undertaken as part of an initiative to improve and expand domestic aviation industry.

The news comes as Jamaica prepares to reopen to tourism in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“We are steering forward with new airport developments, including upgrading of the Lionel Densham airport under a reverse public-private partnership to the tune of approximately $103 million.

“There are also plans to acquire, through lease, the Holland Bamboo airstrip for rehabilitation and reactivation,” the minister added.

Both facilities are located in St. Elizabeth.


Minister Montague was opening the 2020/21 sectoral debate in the house of representatives.

Turning to the development of the Norman Manley International Airport, minister Montague noted that the Airports Authority of Jamaica is scheduled to complete some projects already contracted.

The news comes as the operators of the facility, PAC Kingston Airport, 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 told the House.

As it relates to Sangster International Airport, minster Montague added that MBJ Airports, which operates the airport, commenced a US$70 million, 24-month runway extension and shoreline protection project in January.

A master plan airport expansion programme was slated to commence this year, but has been deferred as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, he noted.

Meanwhile, the minister noted that the AAJ is collaborating with the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority and other entities to establish a National Aviation Training Institution, and aviation scholarships to be offered to residents in airport communities.

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MBJ Airports celebrated earlier this year when Sangster International Airport was recognised as the Caribbean’s Leading Airport by voters at the World Travel Awards.

Image: Jamaica Information Service