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More domestic flights in final stage of negotiations — Montague

Sunday, May 19, 2019

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ST JAMES, Jamaica — With Reggae Sumfest around the corner, Minister of Transport and Mining, Robert Montague, says the Government is in the final stages of negotiation with two companies to facilitate the reintroduction of domestic flights within Jamaica.

“At least one will start before Reggae Sumfest [2019] because we are trying to fit it within the product, so… we need to give our people options,” he said.

Montague was addressing aviation stakeholders at a forum held at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James, on Friday.

He also informed that the Government is moving ahead to re-establish General Aviation in the country.

The minister explained that the reopening of dormant airstrips would further benefit the ganja industry as hundreds of applicants, mostly foreign nationals, have applied for licenses to grow cannabis on Jamaican soil.

“So we believe that has created a space for us to move into improving the existing airstrips, which this [Sangster International Airport] is one, and also to improve the others that serve locally,” he stated.

Montague noted that there were over 52 local airstrips in Jamaica, but that number has now decreased to just eight in recent years.

The minister said that the Government has recognised the urgency to bolster local aviation, given the new opportunities that the industry is introducing.

Meanwhile, Montague officially opened the recently renovated check-in terminal at the Sangster International Airport. The facility now boasts a refurbished immigration hall and ticketing concourse.

Additional expansion of the airport is expected to be undertaken, to meet the growing number of arrivals and departures.

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