How about a different plan for Negril?
The Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett promised residents and business interests of Negril an international airport as well as expanded infrastructure.
As I read this I couldn’t help but make a comparison with the Ian Fleming International Airport, which was given international airport status and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) code MKBS. But Flightradar24 shows that a disproportionate amount of flights arrive at either Norman Manley International Airport (MKJP) or Sangster International Airport (MKJS), moreso Sangster.
We run the risk of wastage of resources if we renovate the Negril aerodrome with the things necessary for an international airport, which aren’t cheap, such as expanded runways, an air traffic control tower, more hangars, passenger terminals, etc but no major airlines utilise it.
It would be much more cost effective to have a limited upgrade of a few hangar spaces, an air traffic control tower, and renovate the runway to make it a regional aerodrome where regional carriers and commuter airlines can fly in people who either land at the Norman Manley International Airport or Sangster International Airport, whether it be flights affiliated with a regional carrier or courier airline or freelance pilots with their own commercial pilot’s licence, as well as flights from neighbouring countries, such as Belize and the Cayman Islands. The demand may not be large enough for back-to-back Airbus and Boeing planes to be filled to a level that guarantees airline profitability or would cause them to ever think of making a route to Negril.
It would also be good if the Government renovates the Braco Airfield in Duncan’s, Trelawny, and improves infrastructure there to accommodate ecotourism and halt all mining in the Cockpit Country regions and restore the land.
While it may complain about the tiny $6-billion loss in revenue — compared to the national budget — between the overflight fees, hotel tax on visits, and the foreign exchange generation in Trelawny, thanks to the Cockpit Country being an ecotourism hot spot, it would have made more than that which mining activities would generate.