Prime Minister Bruce Golding says the decision to transform the Boscobel Aerodrome now expanded and re-named the Ian Fleming international port of entry, was a strategic decision taken to upgrade it to handle small jets, international arrivals and to attract the high end of the tourist market.
He said government recognised that there are segments of the leisure market that we have not made an attempt to break in to – the higher end. Mr. Golding was speaking yesterday (Jan 12) at the official opening of the Ian Fleming International port of entry previously known as the Boscobel aerodrome, in St Mary.
Mr. Golding said that while Jamaica did remarkably well in the mass end of the market which formed the backbone of the tourist industry for a long time, it was recognised that there are other elements of the market that can bring added value if we are able to entice them to Jamaica.
He said the kind of visitors being targeted through this investment are persons who when they come here ‘they invest, they buy, they build and they create that added energy in the economy that we need so badly’.
Mr. Golding noted that these visitors were not interested in driving several miles to get to their destination and so government was providing the facility where they could land at the new facility to encourage investment in the eastern section of the island where there is so much potential for further investment in tourism. He called on local investors to recognise the new opportunities that were being created for them as well, as the airport expansion was a significant investment of confidence in Jamaica’s future.
Mr. Golding also used the occasion to explain the decision to name the airport in memory of Ian Fleming, the British writer and creator of the world’s most famous fictional spy, James Bond. He noted that there were several sons of the soil after whom the airport could have been rededicated. However, Mr. Golding explained that Ian Fleming gave Jamaica an image much larger than it would otherwise have had as this was the place where the creativity emerged that enabled him to write 13 James Bond novels. ‘We also considered that the market to which we are appealing is a market to which the name Ian Fleming would have some resonance. We genuinely wanted to honour the memory of Ian Fleming because of all that he has achieved and the extent to which he brought Jamaica into that achievement…. and we wanted to take advantage of his celebrity status’.
He expressed Jamaica’s gratitude to the family members of Ian Fleming who were special guests at the function, thanking them for lending his name for which no royalties were charged.
On hand to witness and participate in the official opening of Jamaica’s third airport were several government Ministers and agency heads who collaborated on the expansion project including: Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett; Transport and Works Minister Mike Henry; Minister with responsibility for Information, telecommunications and special projects Daryl Vaz, local parish council officials and executives of the Airports Authority of Jamaica.