The Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston is being earmarked by the Government for management under private concession by 2014.
Transport, Works and Housing Minister, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, says the undertaking will be implemented under a Public/Private Partnership (PPP) agreement, adding that a Cabinet-approved Enterprise Team has been appointed to oversee the process.
Speaking at a media briefing at the Transport, Works and Housing Ministry in Kingston last week, Dr. Davies disclosed that World Bank subsidiary, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has been engaged to assist with the undertaking.
Their input is expected to include : the engagement of financial, legal and technical consultants; conducting due diligence; reviewing market conditions; analyzing, structuring and concluding the transaction process; and facilitating a competitive bidding process.
The Minister said a 2004 Capital Development Master Plan, which is currently being updated, will serve to guide the process, as well as inform the capital development programme at the facility.
This development will include the extension and widening of the runway and the establishment of Runway End Safety Areas (RESA), all consistent with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) safety standards. The Minister said the process “should be completed by March 2014, subject to all things running according to schedule”.
Privatization of Norman Manley Airport’s management will make it the second such undertaking by the government, following a similar endeavour at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay in 2003.
Meanwhile, Dr. Davies advised that expansion works slated for the Sangster Airport have commenced with the implementation of a runway overlay project. He said this has resulted in the airport being closed between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. He, however, gave the assurance that there has been dialogue with the airlines using the facility to ensure that their flight schedules are not interrupted.
Regarding the Ian Fleming International Airport in St. Mary, Dr. Davies advised that while the administration does not currently have the resources to undertake expansion at that facility, they are willing to entertain a public private partnership to accommodate this.