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AAJ renovating Ian Fleming airport and island's four aerodromes

Friday, December 07, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Transport and Mining Minister, Robert Montague, has announced the commencement of multimillion-dollar renovations by the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) at the Ian Fleming International Airport in St Mary and the island's four domestic aerodromes.

The aerodromes being upgraded are Tinson Pen, Kingston; Ken Jones, Portland; Lionel Densham, St Elizabeth; and Negril, Westmoreland.

Montague said the undertaking, which incorporates wide-ranging activities, is in keeping with the Government's recognition of the civil aviation industry's importance to Jamaica's economy, and the need to boost operations in keeping with global standards.

“We are starting with the low-hanging fruits [by renovating Ian Fleming Airport and the aerodromes]… and I am pleased that the Airports Authority of Jamaica has taken on the challenge. I congratulate the President and his team for the swiftness with which you have moved and how the work has been progressing,” Montague said.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony for the second annual two-day aviation seminar, jointly hosted by the AAJ, Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) and Aeronautical Telecommunications Limited (AEROTEL), at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston on Thursday

AAJ President, Audley Deidrick, who outlined details of the projects to JIS News, indicated that approximately $100 million will be spent at Ian Fleming Airport to widen the runway and install turning bulbs along the strip to facilitate safe flight operations, and expand the terminal building to accommodate international commercial/aviation activities.

He pointed out that the latter engagement will entail reconfigurations to the building to enable a separation of arriving and departing travellers, and establishment of screening and border control facilities and features.

“Because Ian Fleming is an international airport, the standards, of necessity, have to be higher. Work is proceeding apace [and] we expect this to be completed sometime around March or April next year,' Deidrick indicated.

The AAJ president said work at the Ken Jones Aerodrome will entail resurfacing of the runway and installing lights along the strip, as well as refurbishing the buildings, and installing perimeter fencing, at a cost of approximately $50 million.

Deidrick advised of plans to raise a section of the Negril Aerodrome runway, and construct a fire hall on the compound to facilitate the availability of firefighting services.

Other earmarked activities across all facilities include establishing pilots' lounges; upgrading of bathroom facilities; landscaping; and general repainting.

The AAJ president indicated that work at some of the facilities is expected to be completed by year end, with all engagements scheduled to conclude by mid-2019.

Deidrick expressed satisfaction with the progress of the works, which are being funded by the AAJ.

He noted that “while these aerodromes are not heavy movers of traffic, they represent the face of our country in terms of basic aviation [and] airlift in the event of disaster… hence the reason we are doing the face-lifting projects”.

The renovated facilities are expected to significantly complement the Norman Manley and Sangster International Airports in Kingston and Montego Bay, respectively, where two new air traffic control towers have been installed.

Deidrick indicated that additional expansion works are scheduled at both airports.

The two-day seminar, under the theme 'Air Transport as an Engine of Economic Development in Jamaica and the Caribbean', forms part of Jamaica's observance of International Civil Aviation Day on December 7.

The day commemorates the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) establishment in 1944.

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