KSAMC waives subdivision fee for airport operators to push development

BY CLAUDIENNE EDWARDS
Observer writer
edwardsc@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, September 12, 2019

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To facilitate the continuation of major capital development works at Norman Manley International Airport, the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) on Tuesday passed a resolution to waive the estimated $22-million subdivision fee required of the new operator.

The company, PAC Kingston Airport Limited (PACKAL), is required to pay the fee under the Local Improvements Act, 1914, for lands reserved for the modernisation, expansion and development of the airport.

PACKAL is the wholly owned subsidiary for Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico, the company with which the Government entered into a public-private partnership agreement in September 2018 to operate the airport.

The resolution listed the expansion of the runway and the creation of a runway end safety area as major projects that PACKAL is expected to complete within a prescribed time frame under the public -private partnership arrangement.

Moved by Councillor Donovan Samuels (Jamaica Labour Party, Tivoli Gardens Division), the resolution also stated that the lands, covering 227.74 hectares, would be developed as well for “taxiways, aprons and other airside facilities”.

The resolution stated that the waiver of the fee was being done under Section 7 of the Local Improvements Act, 1914 that states as follows:

“7 (1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, the council, subject to the provision of subsection (2), may, by resolution, exclude from the application of this Act and of any regulations made under this Act any area specified in such resolution.

“7 (2) No resolution under subsection (1) shall come into force unless and until it has been approved by the minister and published in the Gazette.”

Samuels said that the development would diversify and enhance the efficiency at the airport.

Councillor Dennis Gordon (People's National Party, Maxfield Division), who seconded the resolution, said that 1.6 million passengers passed through the airport in 2018.

He said that the subdivision revenue lost to the KSAMC as a result of the waiver would be recovered. In addition, he argued that the airlift through the airport would be greatly improved as there would be an increase in the number of air carriers using the expanded facilities.


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